Sunday, 15 February 2015

Behind the Sss-scenes at Blijdorp

For my eldest son's birthday we organised a behind the scenes tour of the Oceanium section of our local zoo in Rotterdam - primarily with the aim of learning a little more about his favourite animal the penguin.

Unbeknown to me this tour also included a close up and personal with a snake. As we were guided round learning lots about fish, puffins and baby jellyfish I kept seeing signs for snake bite emergencies but at no time thought anything much of it, except that it seemed a weird place for it behind the scenes with the fish.

And then suddenly our lovely guide invited us to grab a stool and sit down in front of some glass tanks. And I suddenly had the nightmare realisation that she was taking a bloody snake out of its glass encasement and was intending to share the thing intimately with us.

My backward walking was perfected in seconds and I got as much distance between the slithering reptile and me as possible, without actually diving into the deep fish tank next to us. It crossed my mind.

My father looked rather shocked by events too - (hence scientifically proving that a fear of snakes is genetic and inbuilt. To further prove my point, one of his sisters, my godmother, is petrified of snakes. I mean petrified).

Our guide asked if anyone wanted to hold it. I mean seriously: half the adults in attendance looked close to passing out, one looked a little uncomfortable and one admittedly looked neutral. So she said maybe we'd like to touch the snake, run our finger over it.

My youngest obliged by tickling it and trying to give it a good squeeze, my middle son ran a finger along the snake, as did my husband. And then I summoned up supermama strength, faced my fear and actually touched it. I touched a snake. And a little bit of my fear for snakes left me.

And then my husband freaked us out surprised us by taking the snake off our guide and letting it slide over his arm. He did get a bit tetchy when the snake tried to find somewhere dark and warm to hide and started heading up his coat sleeve........He was retrieved and put back in the glass case.

My husband said, "I don't particularly like snakes, but I sat thinking maybe I'll never get the chance to hold a snake again so if I don't do it now, I'll never do it."

And when it comes to snakes, I'll be happy if the chance to hold a snake never presents itself again (I said the fear had dissipated a little - the fact that I can actually look at this photo is a HUGE step!) however, I think his philosophy is a good one to stroll through life with:

"Live like you'll never get the chance to do this again"
And on this note, if you get the chance a tour behind the scenes at Blijdorp is definitely worth it - we all enjoyed the peek at the bits you don't usually get to see as a zoo visitor.



  1. I think snakes are great but I know they freak so many out

    1. It's the tongue hissing thing, the poisonous bite and the strangulation thing they've got going on that freak me out! Thanks for stopping by 😀

  2. Your husband is brave. You are too cuz I can never really touch them! Ever. #MySundayPhoto

    1. That's what I aleays thought! So proud of myself!!

  3. This sounds awesome, what a great experience

    Thank you for linking up