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Snakes in a park sure to send parents screaming

A boa constrictor donated to the B.C. Wildlife Park this week will join one of the many species of snakes, including this rattlesnake, at the park.
July 13, 2013 - 5:00 AM


KAMLOOPS - The kids like them, the parents — not so much.

David Edwards, manager of education at the B.C. Wildlife Park, remembers a time one parent ran out of an education seminar on snakes, screaming, just as he was trying to explain how important they are to the ecosystem.

He chuckled at the thought.

With that thought in mind, he may have a hard time convincing parents that a boa constrictor donated to the park this week is actually quite tame and even likes to be held. It's unknown when the reptile will be on display at the park, as it needs to be quarantined, however it will be used to teach — or scare — park visitors when it is ready.

"He's an education snake," said animal care supervisor at the park, Tara Geiger. "He's used to being held."

Geiger referenced the size, about a meter long and a couple inches in diameter.

"They're not massive," she said.

But that may just be her opinion.

Looking into the windows of the 'snake wall' beside the gift shop at the park entrance, the snakes may look small for a zoo cage, but they're not an average garter snake you could run into hiking in Kamloops.

The park already has between five and seven species of snakes ranging from rubber and gopher snakes to rattlesnakes.

Geiger said many of them were taken after being confiscated from border patrols; the park took them for safety reasons due to their venomous nature.

Now, parents and kids alike can have a look, learn, or run screaming.

"That's one of our mottos — conservation and education," Geiger said.

She encourages anyone interested in finding out more about the reptiles to visit the park on Saturdays for the 3:30 feeding which includes an education session included with regular park admission.

The park also recently acquired peahens and is expecting two black swans from the Calgary Zoo because of flooding.

To contact a reporter for this story, email:, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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