Serpentarium brings nature’s wild side to Roseville

By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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The Serpentarium

Where: 1850 Douglas Blvd.

Hours:11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday

Info: 855-SERPINC.

Reptile lovers in Lodi and Elk Grove have been enjoying a creepy, crawly collection of life known as The S erpentarium for years — and now Roseville has become a third home for this company, which puts a huge emphasis on fear-busting and biological education.

The Serpentarium started in Lodi and currently runs a two-story, 3000-square-foot reptile museum there. Currently, the longest monitor lizard on display there tops out above 6 feet and the biggest snake weighs more than 250 pounds. On April 27, The Serpentarium started a soft opening for a new store in clean, open space next to Panera Bread in the T.J. Maxx shopping Center.

“We’re not like a pet store,” said Robert Coral, a manager for Serpentarium. “This Roseville location is an extension of our museum. All of the displays are more like museum exhibits than the cluttered tanks you see in most pet places.”

At the moment, customers strolling into the Roseville Serpentarium are greeted by a tidy arrangement of glass portals into captured environments for snakes, lizards and tarantulas. Between now and May 25, when the store hosts its official grand opening, more elaborate displays will be brought in, along with larger animals.

Coral has noticed there is an appeal reptiles have that make them stand out in the pet world.

“There’s just a certain uniqueness to reptiles,” he said. “It’s something you can really personalize when you’re picking a pet out. You can get everything from the tiniest poison dart frogs to huge monitors. It’s all about what appeals to you.”

Similar to its sister locations, Roseville’s Serpentarium will be engaging various forms of education about large insects and reptiles, including hosting birthday parties and putting on school presentations, field trips and guided tours. Coral said he works for a company that wants to broaden horizons.

“A lot of times, people will stroll in the store and admit they are really afraid of snakes and tarantulas,” the manager observed. “But when people actually learn about them and see them up close, they tend to leave with a different mindset — they’re more open to it.”

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