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5/3/2010 Post and Courier: Serpentarium planning expansion
By Allison Bird
The Edisto Island Serpentarium opened for the 11th year last week with major changes planned for the fall.
Home to hundreds of animals, including 20 alligators and hundreds of snakes, the seasonal attraction will launch a two-year project this year to add another building. There the serpentarium plans to keep its reptiles warm in a heated winter home, where the public still can see them, according to Brenda Clamp, wife of co-owner Ted Clamp.
In past seasons, staff brought the animals inside or to areas under the existing building hidden from the public. This year, Clamp said, the serpentarium plans to open on Saturdays later into the year.
"We're hoping to be able to go year-round, but that may take us two years," Clamp said. The new building also means more animals, but Clamp said those specifics remain under discussion.
The sepentarium welcomed about 200 people to its opening day Thursday, with an expanded gift shop. It also plans to launch a visitor center by mid-May where people can pick up directions to other attractions and restaurants on Edisto.
An estimated 20,000 people visit the serpentarium between May and September each year, according to Clamp. The attraction offers four daily snake programs and two daily alligator programs. "They're not the kind where we make the alligators jump," Clamp said. "They're educational programs."