Available now
Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World.

Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'


Available now
new edition
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians.

Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'



Common boa Boa constrictor

An important aspect of the reptile collection at West Midland Safari Park are the Reptile Encounters.

In days gone by these involved taking snakes, usually large Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) to focal points in what was then Pet's Corner, now Discovery Trail, and permit people to touch them.

Today our encounters are less "touchy-feely" and more educational. They take place on the Encounter stage in front of the Reptile House. Here keepers introduce reptiles to the audience and often illustrate their talk with a Keynote presentation using the three screens located above the stage. The Encounters are educational and contain a great many facts about the species being displayed. They also set out to destroy some of the many myths that have grown up around reptiles, especially snakes.

The Reptile Encounters are soon to be re-branded "Discover Reptiles" in keeping with the style of the rest of the Discovery Trail.

The Reptile Encounter stage



Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures and whilst every attempt is made to heat the stage, the weather conditions may make it impossible for keepers to bring anything onto the stage. Under such conditions a guided tour of the Reptile House may be offered as an alternative, or a question and answer session.


Mark also presents the Encounters on Sundays, Bank Holidays and special days, when he is in the country. On especially busy days venomous encounters may be presented with rattlesnakes or cobras.

He often has copies of his books and stamps for signing and sale - you can save on postage by buying Mark's books on your next visit to West Midland Safari Park (providing he is there to sign them of course!) If you specifically want to see Mark at the Safari Park it is a good idea to check with the keepers in the Reptile House who know his schedule and can best advise when he will next be on site.

West Midland Safari Park 01299 402114 ext. 230

The "Canebrake" Reptile Encounter boards were used to announce which species were being exhibited.
These have now been changed.