Keeping Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata)

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Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) are a harmless European water snake widely distributed throughout Europe, North African and the Middle East. As it is a water snake, its primary habitat is around ponds, slow moving streams and lakes – but also found around human habitation such as irrigation channels and tanks. Although classified as harmless it’s reported to have a well developed gland in its mouth that produces a mild neurotoxin and produces a potent antihemorrhagin in its serum. However this is highly unlikely to effect humans. They also void the contents of their vent, which is a smelly defence. This species when I was a child, was a common pet snake – along with the related Grass and Viperine snakes. I remember visiting pet shops where a tank would be…
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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands Burgers Zoo, named after the original owners, opened in 1913 and I one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. It is a mix of old and new, like many old European zoos, but does not have many of the original buildings. There are several themed areas, when I visited I enjoyed many of the sections including the oceans, bush, desert, mangrove. Safari and the newest, Rimba (South Eastern Asian Rainforest). Much of the signage is supplemented in English too. The ocean section has two large tanks, each 3000000 litres, and in total there is 8000000 litres – sharks, state of the art coral and tropical fish. My least favourite exhibits were the gorillas and chimpanzee enclosure - this has altered little since it was built…
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