Rattlesnakes and Scorpions

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 8.52.55 AMBy Kary Vannice

Museums often contain objects that evoke our fascination, admiration, and sometimes even, our trepidation.

Museums also often put these objects behind Plexiglas in order to protect them from being damaged or harmed by visitors. In the case of these next two “museums”, the objects on display are indeed behind Plexiglas, but here, it’s the visitors who are being protected!

The Herpetario de Chapultepec in Mexico City is an exhibit where you can find a wide variety of Mexico’s amphibians, lizards, turtles, and snakes, including several species of rattlesnakes. This herpetarium focuses on the conservation of Mexico’s native species. Their focus is on conversation; they gave a healthy breeding program, with almost all their animals born in captivity. They also strive to educate visitors about the importance of these oftentimes overlooked animals. Their goal is to invite the public, both Mexican and visitors alike, to learn about the incredible biodiversity of these unique species and thereby raise the awareness of how important it is to respect and maintain them within Mexico’s ecosystem.

If you’re interested in things that slither, crawl, and croak, you can find this unique museum at the Zoológico de Chapultepec, in Mexico City. Operating hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00AM to 4:30PM.

Not to be outdone by the poisonous snakes at the herpetarium, the state of Durango came up with its own venomous attraction, The Alacranario. Yep, that’s right, the scorpion museum!

The state of Durango, considered to be the land of scorpions, was a logical place to start a small tourist attraction with this nocturnal stalker at its core. When it began, the Alacranario housed just over 300 scorpions, but last year, in the interest of generating more diversity in its cultural tourism, an expansion was planned. Now, another five thousand scorpions of different sizes and species, seven in all, have been included. If you go, you can watch these eight-legged arachnids roam the streets of small model cities, glow bright, aqua-blue under black lights and even climb King Kong style to the top of miniature cathedrals.

The new Alacranario measures 8 meters long, and gives the scorpions more freedom to move quickly, as well as allowing visitors more opportunity to learn about and observe their actions.

If you’re all about the alacranes, plan a visit Monday to Sunday 10:00AM – 8:00PM in the historic center of Durango, Durango.

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