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Cape Fear Serpentarium

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The Cape Fear Serpentarium is a unique facility located in the downtown district of historic Wilmington, NC. 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 existing and new construction, this indoor zoo was built upon the original Wilmington Iron Works. Taking 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 patrons, this means the experience of encountering these creatures in as close to a natural setting as possible, while maintaining absolute safety.

Thus, spectators may enjoy all manner of rarely observed reptile behavior. Mating, combat and live feedings all compliment the inherent beauty of these powerful species.

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 tourists alike visit 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. Hours may vary seasonally, so please phone for confirmation.

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