I went to the Reptile Zoo in Monroe

As someone afraid of snakes, this was a poor choice.

June 6, 2016
Baskar the Albino Alligator!

by Gregr

“Oh, come on, snakes are so nice and…” SHUT UP. I don’t care that you think snakes have a bad name. I don’t like them. You do? Fine. Like your snakes over there and I’ll be uneasy over here.

On my way to Skykomish for a long weekend of mountain cabin-ing with 18 dudes, my friend Kool Keith (he’s a real Kool Keith) insisted on one thing - we were all stopping at the Reptile Zoo. “But they have snakes and spiders,” exclaimed Keith.

“Great.”

Reptile Zoo, Monroe, WA
by Bill Thorpe

photo by Bill Thorpe

This place is weird. We walked in to find a wonderful staff who sent us on the way through two giant rooms of me being FREAKED OUT. You’d think the guy who talks non-stop about dinosaurs would be cool with reptiles - WHATEVER.

The Reptile Zoo is full of lots of weird things that all looked pissed to be there (including me). The first thing we saw when walking through the door was a giant albino alligator name Baskar! At first, Baskar seemed to be fake - like a faded wooden carving… until he blinked! Statues don’t blink - this dude was alive and I was well on my way to being creeped out. See you later, alligator (see above).

A couple rows of terrariums filled with lizards, monitors, and other stuff that looks like it needed some serious sunblock starting 10 years ago followed. That was all fine, and I was still on edge  until we rounded the corner to a giant zillion gallon tank. Straight up chilling with its face against the plexiglass, a massive 10-foot long American alligator *gulp*. Hi there, Barnabus...

Baskar the Albino Alligator
by Gregr

Barnabus doesn't like us...
by Gregr

Moving on! At this point, with humidity and heat running high in the zoo for the animals, I’m not doing so well. We move into the second room - oh good, this is the one with all the snakes… Look, I don’t care if snakes have a bad name - it’s like spiders, they probably do a lot of good stuff - just let them do it somewhere else!

In this second room: snakes everywhere! Anacondas, corn snakes, horned snakes, a black mamba, this room certainly was not for me! Man, was I ever tense! At the slightest brush of a leaf at shoulder height, I just about lost it. The sick twist: this is where the tortoises hang out and I love tortoises :/

Usually, when it’s little warmer out, Cruiser (that’s his earth name) and his friends are out cruising around in a pen out back, but for today, I found myself surrounded by giant terrariums filled with snakes!

None of my photos of the snapping turtle turned out so hot. I did, however, get one decent photo of a Reptile Zoo oddity… this two headed turtle!

Two headed turtle power
by Gregr

Some random lady there told us that the turtle should have been twins that never split. They share a digestive system so if one i just too busy updating his LinkedIn or tweeting pictures of his lasagna dinner, the other can sustain both heads. One head controls three legs while the other drives the last leg which makes for super inefficient swimming...

All in all, this was a magically weird way to start out an adventure. There were a bunch of families there with kids and then twelve 30+-year-old grown-ass-men acting like idiots. The admission at $8 made for an affordable tale to tell, and I saw a ton of animals I might otherwise never encounter. I’m not really a zoo guy. I feel bad for the animals, but the people at the Reptile Zoo seem like they’re doing it for good reasons.

Bonus points for the Puerto Rican barbeque bus parked out front!