Cape Fear Serpentarium

cape-fear-serpentariumThe Cape Fear Serpentarium is a unique facility located in the downtown district of historic Wilmington, North Carolina. Founded in 2001 by expert herpetologist Dean Ripa, the Serpentarium is a 10,000 square foot structure which features 54 displays which house over 40 venomous species of snakes, 5 large bays featuring giant constrictors, and three full-fledged interior habitats housing 3 species of crocodile. Other displays are the homes for several large and exotic species of lizards. In all, there up to 150 animals on display at any given time.

Using parts of the existing historical building as well as state of the art materials, this indoor zoo was built upon the original Wilmington Iron Works. The building and habitats for the animals took over two years to complete. The indoor displays are some of the largest of their kind in the world, painstakingly constructed to allow the animals to experience almost every freedom they would enjoy in their natural habitat. For visiting patrons, this means the experiencing these creatures in as close to a natural setting as possible, while maintaining absolute safety. Spectators can enjoy rarely observed reptile behaviors including mating, combat and live feedings.

The Cape Fear Serpentarium has been featured on Discovery TV, Animal Planet, Attache Magazine, Oxford American Magazine, the Wilmington Star News and many others. Scientists and visitors alike travel from all over the world to view animals that can be seen nowhere else. The Cape Fear Serpentarium is recognized as one of the world’s foremost reptile collections.

The Serpentarium is open from 11AM to 5PM on weekdays, 11AM to 6PM Saturdays and Sundays. The Serpentarium is located at 20 Orange Street, in Downtown Wilmington. Hours may vary seasonally, so please phone for confirmation. For more information about the Serpentarium please call (910) 762-1669 or visit their website

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