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This is a “small” eleven-foot Everglades python that is presently part of the Everglades Outpost Wildlife Rescue traveling show.  This is one of the snakes that you hear about on the news; the pythons have bred and made their home in the southernmost part of Florida.

Albert Killian is part of the wildlife rescue team and his show, which I have caught twice at the Redlands Arts Festival, is superb.  I have never been so close to so many venomous reptiles.  In fact, I was closer this year than I was last year.  Due to the weather, Albert’s show moved under a small tent, putting the audience right at his feet and close enough to get a good look at the fangs of a Western diamondback rattlesnake and to appreciate the natural artistry of the Gaboon viper’s color pattern.  I could have moved closer to see the viper’s tiny nose horns, but given that the Gaboon viper yields more venom than any other venomous snake, I decided I was better off going eye-to-eye with the python.

The reptile show is an excellent example of old-school Florida, the sort of attraction one might have found along a tourist route in the pre-Disney days.  These types of attractions are fast disappearing and are no longer highly advertised. You’ll find them away from the tourist track, and they are well worth seeking out.

I encourage you to investigate the rescue program and to make a donation if you are so inclined: