VIDEO: Exclusive look at man’s snake zoo

PUBLISHED: 14:11 12 May 2011

(click on image for larger view) Official opening Strictly Scales snake zoo, George Street,Weston

(click on image for larger view) Official opening Strictly Scales snake zoo, George Street,Weston

Archant

Snake-mad man opens zoo in back garden

VENOMOUS pythons, rattlesnakes and other unusual reptiles are now on display at a new zoo – in a Weston man’s back garden.

Rupert Langridge, who owns about 100 animals, 70 of which are snakes, has fulfilled his dream of opening Strictly Scales, in the town centre.

The George Street resident, who says his neighbours are more curious than fearful about his new venture, has spent months transforming a double garage into his very own mini zoo.

The 27-year-old, who studied zoology at university and is a qualified teacher, has this week opened the attraction to the public in his quest to educate people about his unique array of animals.

Rupert said: “This zoo has been my dream for a long time. There’s so much people don’t know about these reptiles and Strictly Scales is the perfect way to educate people.

“Whether it’s helping to educate schoolchildren, satisfying people’s curiosity or helping someone conquer their fears, I can do it.”

There is a smaller museum and a larger jungle room exhibiting the majority of the creatures, which include about 20 species.

A proportion of the zoo is devoted to evolution of life on earth, the relationship between man and reptiles and the internal anatomy and senses of reptiles.

From prehistoric timelines on the walls and dinosaur footprints on the floor, to secret doors and the opportunity to feed exotic turtles – Strictly Scales has a lot going on.

Visitors will be transported into various tropical surroundings featuring draping plants, atmospheric lighting and there is also a large pond, complete with a waterfall and mist.

The zoo has four of the six largest snake species on the planet and a 17ft, 45kg female reticulated python called Buttercup, who lives in a Sulawesi cave exhibit.

As well as venomous and flying snakes there is an African rock python, a mountain kingsnake, bearded dragons, a European green toad, an emperor scorpion and much more.

There is also an opportunity for visitors to feed some of the reptiles at certain times of the day.

Rupert, who was able to build the attraction after coming into some inheritance money, said: “It was hard work but I couldn’t have done it without my friends, my co-worker Scarlet Rain, who has helped me from the beginning, and C&S Builders - and all these people are now benefactors.”

Visitors, who must book in advance, will be given a guided tour by snake-mad Rupert and donations of £5 are recommended.

To book call 07976 470797 or check out the Strictly Scales Facebook page

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