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Snakes Alive, a Family Tradition for More Than 50 Years

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  There are hundreds of animals at the Iowa State Fair, primarily cattle, horses and pigs. But if you want to see some more exotic animals, head over to the Snakes Alive building near the Giant Slide to see huge snakes and lizards. They have more than 50 exhibits in the building including half a dozen pythons between the sizes of 80 to 130 pounds.

Snakes Alive Operations Manager and exotic animal owner Zach Wright said there are many common misconceptions people have about snakes.

“One of the biggest ones that we get is that they’re slimy, they see the iridescence in these guys, especially if the light hits them right, you see a nice iridescent sheen of their body… It’s not actually slime at all, their scales, they have an outside coating on them and if they have that sheen like that it means they are actually healthy,” Wright said.

Snakes Alive has been around for more than 50 years and many people come back year after year to take their picture with the giant pythons.

“We had one gentleman come the other day with a picture of his daughter on a stick because this is the first time in 30 years she hadn’t been able to make it back and he still wanted her to be a part of the tradition,” Wright said.

Snakes Alive is open from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. there is a $3 admission fee and it is $10 to get your picture with a giant python.

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