Learn to love him …

2009-12-12 00:00

USHAKA Marine World’s newest exhibit aims to take visitors from fear to fascination.

Originally set up as a temporary exhibition inside the Phantom Ship, Dangerous Creatures­ has proved to be so popular that the theme park decided to give it larger space in the Village Walk shopping precinct.

Set up as an abandoned warehouse, the space is crammed full of South African and exotic reptiles and insects.

Visitors can expect to come face to face with a king cobra and black mamba, an anaconda — the longest and heaviest snake in the world — and the Gaboon adder.

Other attractions include poison dart frogs, tarantulas, Gila monster lizards, giant bull frogs, tree vipers and taipans — the world’s most venomous snake.

The Argentinean equivalent of the Nile leguaan — a tegu — is also on display, the only one of its kind in any snake park in the country.

To make the whole experience a little more interesting, the uShaka team has also installed items that give the impression that some of the warehouse creatures have escaped from their enclosures. These include a sack that moves and a box where you get to feel your arm being squeezed by an anaconda­.

Speaking at the opening, Dr Mark Penning­, director of South African Association for Marine­ and Biological Research, said: “A lot of people are scared of snakes and spiders, but we believe that the easiest way for people to get over their fear is to confront it.”

Dangerous Creatures is an adventure that amateur explorers, reptile enthusiasts and adrenalin junkies won’t want to miss.

Entrance is R25. Inquiries: uShaka Marine World at 031 328 8000.

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