Tainan Snake King Zoo (aka World Snake King Educational Farm 台南市世界蛇王教育農場) is a private zoo in Guiren District of Tainan with many rare and exotic reptiles, birds, and big cats, and others. There is also a restaurant inside that specializes in snake and alligator meat. Despite accusations of maltreatment, the zoo is still legally operating and accepting visitors daily. You could say that the Mr. Huang, the Snake King Zoo owner is the “Tiger King" of Taiwan. And yes there is a tiger.
The farm is now for sale, so come and see the Snake King Zoo before it's gone!
The Snake King Zoo is 23 years old.
At the time of its creation, then president Lee Teng-Hui was pushing for alligator farming in Tainan, which is how the farm started. At that time, there was no animal protection laws, and no regulations on how big cages should be. However the zoo has improved conditions for the animals overtime.
Over its history, it has raised over 5000 alligators.
Recently the zoo has been caught up in accusations of maltreatment of its animals, however after inspection from the EPA no illegal activities were found, and the zoo took measures to improve the quality of care for its animals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, local tourism in Taiwan boomed, but in the summer of 2020 the Snake King Zoo only saw a few visitors per day (compared to hundreds of visitors per day in its prime).
Due to lack of income and pressure from constant debt, the zoo owner Mr. Huang (80 years old) announced in August 2020 that thezoo was for sale at a price of 160 million NT.
The zoo also includes a museum and restaurant that sells snake and alligator meat.
The zoo is still operating as normal but it seems its days are numbered.
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM every day.
100 NT (previously 200 NT) per person
How to get there:
By car/scooter: From Tainan HSR station, drive north on provincial highway 39, then take a left on Dade Road, and another left on Tainan City Highway 177. The Snake Zoo will be on your left, and there is parking available on site.
By bus: From Tainan HSR station, take the R3 shuttle north to Guiren District Office stop, then walk north about 20 minutes (or take a taxi) to the zoo.
Please see below:
We have been to the Snake King Zoo once a few years ago. It is quite frankly a scary place to go, which is partly why visitors have declined over the years (but also the zoo has basically zero online presence).
At the front of the zoo are tons of alligators, which are still harvested for their meat and hides to this day, but you can also look at them. This is a pile of Caimans.
A giant alligator in an enclosure.
At the time, they let us pet the female tiger and male lion at the zoo. That was really scary for me, but I did it. The lion and tiger had two liger cubs in 2018 which were moved out of the zoo to a wildlife refuge. The birth was unexpected, and the zoo was fined for breeding these animals without government permission.
The liger cubs are now grown, and you can see them at the Pingtung Technical Universtiy Wildlife Center.
Above is a video of one of the surviving ligers, who cannot walk properly due to gene deficiencies.
Disturbing image, feel free to scroll down.
Yes, you can reach your hand in and pet the tiger. I think they have made the cages bigger since I was there.
More alligators relaxing, with raw slabs of meat on the floor.
And best for last, we watched a mouse get eaten live by a python.
I did not try the snake or alligator meat that they were selling. Overall visiting this zoo was an experience I'll never forget, and one that will probably become unavailable to the public very soon.
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