Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo offers guests an up close animal experience

New Braunfels zoo is open daily 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. for Spring Break

By Josh Skurnik - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels may not have the biggest grounds, but the staff says that makes for a more intimate experience.

For a small zoo off of the beaten path, they have some big attractions.

"Hercules" is a 14-foot Albino Bernese Python weighing a little more than 100 pounds.

Eight-year-old Lucas Whiteley got up close during his personal meeting.

"When he sticks his tongue out, it's like forked, and like humans is not," Whiteley said, as he helped hold the snake.

Many zoos have programs beyond the usual walking paths, but on the six acres off of I-35 the staff pride themselves on it.

For Spring Break they're open at 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and say they have an interactive activity every half-hour.

Want to meet a skunk, scent glands removed of course? How about a baby fox? Want to watch hyenas, wolfs, and mountain lions eat a snack, while you learn?

"If you can touch something when you're little that you wouldn't normally touch, you may not understand all the educational aspect, but it's goning to be imprinted on your brain, and you're going to remember those things," Jarrod Forthman, who works at the zoo said.

The zoo opened in 1967 as a roadside attraction and a lot has changed over the years.

It's now an accredited zoo and since 2006 they have upgraded many of the enclosures into the modern era. There's more than 500 animals on display at a time.

With the $10 admission for children and $13 for adults guests can visit a petting zoo, see a jaguar exhibit, and view white lions.

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