Snakes, bearded dragons, horny devils, and crocodiles: Reptile Center, Alice Springs


Reptile Center, Alice Springs

Fearless snake charmer

Australian goanna

Alice Springs has several interesting places to visit when you’re in the Red Center;  the Reptile Center, Desert Park, an aboriginal museum / art gallery, and the Flying Doctors museum.  We made it to three, but power outages at the Flying Doctors museum prevented us from seeing the exhibitions and history of the valiant humanitarian mission.  We’ll make it next trip.

The Reptile Center  allows visitors to have a hands on experience with their reptiles.  Twice a day they bring out some of their favorites for those who’d like the opportunity to hold and pet some of the creepier members of the animal kingdom.  The center has more than 100 Northern Territories reptiles, including poisonous snakes and a saltwater crocodile from the Top End (Darwin area).

Lizards, skinks, bearded dragons, and horny devils

The reptiles were behind glass cases with desert like surroundings, sand, rocks, dead branches, with a water dish and platter of food, usually bugs.While we were there, one of the custodians came into the room with a rolling cart.  She opened a chute in the top of the cage and dropped in ants, locust, and crickets.  The reptiles were ready for feeding time; in seconds, the insects were gobbled with a flick of their tongue.  Then they scurried back under the rock or dried branch where they’d been waiting.

Bearded dragon

Bearded dragon in profile

Desert goanna

Black spotted skink

Hooded dragon, front

Hooded dragon, rear

Horny devil

Saltwater crocodile

The largest reptile was a carnivorous saltwater crocodile, netted in a river near Darwin at the Top End of the Northern Territories.  The croc was in a large tank outdoors.  It was difficult to photograph him form the top of the tank, but we managed to get a couple of shots of him from a ramp along the tank’s side.

Saltwater crocs are very dangerous and snare domestic and wilds animals who wander too near the shore of the Top End rivers, lakes, and shorelines.  They’ve been known to snag a tourist or two every year.

Saltwater crocodile, breathing at surface

Saltwater crocodile, resting at bottom of tank

Poisonous snakes

Australia has some of the most poisonous snakes in the world.  We’d had an encounter with a red bellied black snake in Adelaide, in Alice Springs we saw a poisonous brown snake and a desert snake, indigenous to the Northern Territories.

Brown snake

This poisonous snake kept coiling up the glass cage

Amateur reptile handlers

Twice a day, a custodian holds a ‘snake handling’ seminar, allowing braver visitors to hold and pet her favorite scaly friends.  She said it was safe . . . really.  It was, but there were a few tense moments when she draped an olive python around our necks and encouraged us to remain still and let it get used to our body heat.

Olive pythons seek heat, so in a few moments, they ‘snaked’ up our arms or necks towards our heads where body temperature is a little higher. If we look a little anxious, it’s because we were.  The custodian said that olive pythons are not poisonous and we are too large for them to wrap around, choke, and swallow.  That statement was supposed to make us more comfortable.  It did . . . a bit.  But it was a python. Not your normal house pet.

Getting to know an olive python

Fearless snake charmer

“Why has my husband made me do this?”

Bearded dragon make good pets

Petting a bearded dragon

“He’s kinda cute . . . can I take him home?”

“I like snakes!”

* * * * *

Next:  Exotic birds and kangaroos at Desert Park

As many of you know, I also write mysteries and romantic suspense novels.

I recently published my first international thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, which is available on Kindle as well as other ereaders, tablets, and smartphones.

I’m back in Europe for the summer to hire a translator and to research my next book which will also be a thriller based in Milan.  I’ll be posting along the way from Milan, Stresa, Zurich and other locations.

I have a few posts on another blog,  Anatomy of a Thriller, where I write about the process of researching and writing an international thriller.  I’ll add more posts there as well.

Please share these links with writers or readers who might be interested.

At Amazon including # 1 Kindle best seller “Perfect Crime” 

5 responses to “Snakes, bearded dragons, horny devils, and crocodiles: Reptile Center, Alice Springs

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    • Thanks for your comments, I always like to hear from readers. I’m back in
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      Like

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, always like to hear from readers. I’m in Europe for the summer, posted
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      Like

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