|Stripes - (on a Red Bellied Black Snake - beautiful!) Photo 1 of 104|
We were having a lovely time. We were given a brief talk about a couple of the big crocodiles in the park and then we got a close look at some small salt water crocs, before the first snake show was presented.
A lovely lady showed us five snakes including the Red Bellied Black Snake. It was an enjoyable show and I got some nice shots. Unfortunately, none of them are very natural looking because the snakes were either wrapped around the snake handler or sliding across green carpet in the enclosure.
After that, Adoring Husband and I wandered around the park ourselves and found the lizard enclosures, where we got a few good shots and then strolled through the 'vivarium' which is an enclosure for frogs and smaller lizards.
Further on was the snake area which housed all kinds of snakes from Carpet snakes to deadly Taipans and Brown Snakes, all of which, were inside sealed and heated glass enclosures.
The light was very low in there and the glass made it virtually impossible to get decent shots and completely impossible to get natural shots.
So all was going along fine. I was feeling happy and enjoying the day. I was pleasantly surprised by how well kept the park was and how friendly and helpful the staff were. The weather was getting a little steamy, but it was bearable and there were plenty of shady areas to sit.
Then we gathered around the pit for the Venomous Snake show.
Quite a few others had entered the park by now, and although it wasn't too crowded, we still all stood shoulder to shoulder around the pit, including some children who I would guess to be around 8 yrs of age.
The male snake handler appeared with his five red bags, each of which contained one of the top five venomous snakes in the world, which of course, were also Australian snakes.
Before he had even pulled the first snake out of the bag, a member of the audience asked if he had ever been bitten. He replied that he was embarrassed to admit that he had indeed been bitten by his own snakes and that it was because of his own carelessness.
So that set the mood for me.
If he is careless enough to get bitten himself, then what are the chances that we might also be in danger due to his carelessness?
There they were, the little children on tiptoes, looking over the edge of the pit, while the angry, brand new to the park, King Brown snake was trying to climb the wall to reach them.
My heart skipped a beat a few times and I thought to myself how terrible that my father accidentally stepped on an Eastern Brown and died ... yet this man is voluntarily standing in a pit with the five deadliest snakes in the world, watching children lean over the wall while he tells everyone how deadly the snakes are.
Memories of my father, combined with the fear that the children or the snake handler might be bitten, overwhelmed me. I took a step back from the pit and I could feel the tears welling. I knew that I had to remove myself from the area.
As I went to step past Adoring Husband, he gave me a worried look, so I told him that I was going to sit in the park area for a bit. Of course, he was right behind me and left the snake pit too.
We sat down and he asked if I was ok, but I wasn't and I shed a little tear on his shoulder.
I was very surprised by my emotional reaction because since my father's death, snakes have never been an issue for me. The Gladstone Hospital, where they gave him the incorrect treatment, has been a problem for me, but not snakes.
The next show was going to be the croc feeding, but as the heavens opened, we decided to drive into Childers and find somewhere for lunch instead. We had watched crocs feeding up near Rockhampton a few months ago, so we weren't concerned about missing it.
We went to one of the pubs on the main street of Childers where we enjoyed a delicious, prompt and inexpensive lunch and then drove home in pelting rain. It was too wet to even consider going anywhere or doing anything else for the day.
Tomorrow, Adoring Husband and I are going to the movies to see 'We Bought a Zoo'. Kind of appropriate after visiting something akin to a zoo today :D Wish I could take photographs at tomorrow's zoo!