We visited a Serpentario (reptile exhibit) where they rescue injured, abandoned or confiscated reptiles. This is an organization that assists in the eventual release of native animals provided they can fend for themselves in the wild. The only exception for release are none native species and some of the venomous snakes, where they are milked regularly for their venom. This is done so they can produce anti venom for the nearby hospitals and clinics.
Guatemala, like the rest of the world, is suffering ecological damage from the introduction of invasive species. Some examples would include the release of Cobras, Siberian tigers, Anacondas, etc. into the wild. These, and other introductions, along with the heavy hand of man are making the wild spaces more difficult for native species.
One of the confiscated snakes, was an extremely venomous fer-de-lance viper which was duct taped to a man's thigh, when he was boarding an airplane. No joke, boarding an airplane with a viper duct taped to his inner thigh! They also showed other examples of deadly frogs captured in film roles at the airport, and so on. I guess the stupidity of some can never be underestimated.
|Thankfully, this former pet, ended up here instead of the wild.|
|Honey, is that you? Donations keep these awesome places alive and we recommend visiting shelters like this as part of any vacation.|