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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!