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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
CR Rae writes about U.S. travel, including family-friendly activities.
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By CR Rae
CR Rae writes about U.S. travel, including family-friendly activities. She likes to find unique, off-the-beaten-path things to do in even the biggest cities. Traveling the highways and byways, she finds the dirt on the back roads and the ins and ...
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CR Rae writes about U.S. travel, including family-friendly activities. She likes to find unique, off-the-beaten-path things to do in even the biggest cities. Traveling the highways and byways, she finds the dirt on the back roads and the ins and outs of some of the most fun and interesting places -- giving you, the traveler, those little tidbits of info to get the most from your travels.
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 We have all seen, or maybe, have physically--milked a cow, but how many of us have milked a snake?



Not something I have placed on my bucket list, but I did suck it up and visit the Reptile Discovery Center in DeLand, Florida. Surprisingly, even this non-lover of snakes really enjoyed discovering more about the milking of snakes and just what they do with that "milk".





Before the actual milking takes place...snakes are brought out to the audience for anyone that wants to hold them. These are the non-poisonous variety. The process of milking a snake is explained and the "whys" it is done. There was no pressure to hold a snake or even get close to it for those of you that would prefer not to do so. The information was very interesting that also included how the snakes are fed and the process of keeping the schedule straight as to which snakes is on board for milking when. 



Upon entering the room where the milking takes place you will see shoe box like boxes and some larger plastic containers one after another after another lined up on shelves. There are no Louis Vuittone's in those boxes, just a rattler or two.



Do note: they are behind glass and the extraction of venom takes place there as well.



The Snakes:

They are poisonous and dangerous and the keeper of the snakes does this over and over again, everyday, as easily as taking care of kittens.





The stars of the show were cobra's, rattlesnakes, mambas, coral snakes and others. The process of how these reptiles are "milked", which is a process of extracting venom to make anti venom, is interesting. You will see plenty of action if you attend one of the shows. There are also plenty of things to see at the displays in the center. Also outside visitors can enjoy a walk to view lizards, alligators, tortoises and others.

Carl Barden is the founder of the center and he is full of info and takes questions when he brings out a few "friends" of the reptile style to visit. And--yes, he has been bitten more than once.



The process of actually extracting the venom is very interesting. Here is a teaser--a snake knows to save some of its venom in case it needs it for protection--it never gives it all up during the process.

Even though I am not a snake lover after an "encounter" with a Copperhead, I appreciated this informative "thing to do" in DeLand, Florida. It proves to be interesting for all ages.

A gift shop is also available for those looking for a unique gift or information on reptiles.

For show times, directions and more visit http://www.reptilediscoverycenter.com/.



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