Venomous Snakes at Refreshing Mountain’s Wildlife Center

Phil True
July 11, 2021

Learn About North American Venomous Snakes and More

Did you know that part of our wildlife center’s collection features North American venomous snakes? Currently on exhibit are 6 species of Rattlesnakes and 2 Northern Copperheads.

Rattlesnake Venomous Wildlife

One of our Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnakes

We also have on exhibit a Gila Monster (one of the only venomous lizards in the world), and a Baron’s Racer which is a colorful “rear-fanged” venomous snake from South America.

Barons Racer Snake Wildlife Center Summer Scaled

Mark handling our 6 ft long Baron’s Racer snake.

Mark Layton, who is the Wildlife Center Director is the primary caretaker of the venomous reptiles in the collection. Mark has extensively studied venomous snakes for more than 10 years.

Sidewinder Rattlesnake Reptiles Wildlife Center Display Scaled

Sidewinder Rattlesnake in our Wildlife Center

His experience includes working with highly venomous snakes in the outback of Australia and assisting with presentations on snakebite treatment for a wilderness medicine conference.

Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake Wildlife Center Scaled

Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake in our Wildlife Center

Having the opportunity to work with these animals safely and skillfully is one of Mark’s favorite parts of the job. He says that “our facility uses the same handling protocols as most major zoos.” We also have very detailed bite protocols, access to appropriate antivenoms, and professional consulting relationships with two Medical Toxicologist.

Timber Rattlesnake Wildlife Center Scaled

Timber Rattlesnake part of our PA native reptile collection

Mark hopes to grow this fascinating part of our collection in the future. In the meantime, make sure to book a wildlife center tour to see and learn about these amazing animals in their naturalistic displays!

Rmc Wildlife Center Copperhead

Northern Copperhead part of our PA native reptile collection