Dong Tam snake farm - the kingdom of snake

 Far about 9km from My Tho center, Dong Tam Snake Farm is considered as the kingdom of snakes in Vietnam with more than 400 kinds of snakes. Whether you're a snake lover or you are afraid of snake, even you hate snake, let go to this kingdom one time to admire the wonderful world of the legless reptile​.
 

the greeting gate of Dong Tam snake farm & museum.
The greeting gate of Dong Tam snake farm & museum.
 
Dong Tam Snake Farm is a familiar name that the locals usually call, its officially name is Cultivation Center & Medicine Process Research of Military Region 9, located in Binh Duc Hamlet, Tan Thuan commune, Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang.

You only need buy a ticket with price at VND25.000/ for adult and VND15.000/ for child to enter the totally different world – snake’s world. Firstly, you will go to projection room to be introduced this special center. Dong Tam Snake Farm was founded in 1979 based on initiative of Tran Van Duoc Lieutenant Colonel. He has wide and deep knowledge about snakes, he wants to build a farm rearing varied species of snake for antiserum against venom and for venom exports.

In 30 ha area of ancient trees’ lush space is a unique and attractive ecological tourism zone. It seems that you will be lost in "scary but fascinating maze" when coming here. Feeling like only snakes are on the world.
 
Green snakes are raised in the natural environment. 
Snakes are raised in natural environment.
 
Dong Tam Snake Farm is divided into three areas of reptiles. Following the tour guide, visitors supposedly step into the curious world about these scary, dangerous animals.

Firstly, you will see a snake breeding area in the style of island-lake with only one door, surrounded by high wall equaled to people’s chest in height. Inside it, the lake’s depth is about 30 - 40cm with full water. In the middle, there is a small island with bushy grass where is the shelter of toad, frog, bullfrog ... They are food sources for snakes. The small island has several clumps of trees as high as wall of lake. On the leaves is alive with snakes crawling. At first glance, everyone feels scary and little bewildered because of just standing not far from that snakes. However, you don’t need worry since the experts calculated carefully to prevent snakes from flying out of trees, crossing the wall ".

With a long iron stick having a hook at one head, the guide hooks gently a snake and moves it toward visitors to explain its growth characteristics and compatible activities ... It is so fascinating because you won’t have many opportunities to close to this dangerous reptile.
 
 
There are some snakes very friendly and no poisonous.

Going through turn by turn the lakes feeding snake, visitors gradually understand deeply the world of snake, they have many types as viper, grass-snake, coluber, subsessor bocourti snake, homalopis buccata snake ... these are gentle and nonvenomous snakes.

More things to see in Tien Giang

Leaving this area is arriving poisonous snake farming zone such as Coelognathus radiate, Bungarus, Elapidae… Especially Ophiophagus hannah, an extremely venomous snake, is ranked at grade "E" level in Viet Nam Red Book. They are kept in separate cages. Feeding this ferocious kind of snake is very sophisticated and dangerous. Farmers must be very careful, deliberated when opening cage in order that the hungry snakes won’t rush out of cage and bite them. Taking care of snakes is like taking care of child, farmers must check regularly to detect promptly any sick one for treatment in time.
Dong Tam also raise copperhead in a private area. 
Each snake can be given only 10 drops of venom one year.

The center has several hundred of Ophiophagus hannah snake, each one eats about 1.5kg omnivorous snakes / time, twice a week. Cobra eats only toad, frog, and mouse; therefore, in the dry season, the Center has to reserve a lot of foods even tons of foods already in freezer for snake in whole winter. In addition, here also raise crocodiles, turtles, foxes, bears, peacocks, ostriches, porcupines, iguanas, golden-cheek gibbons...

Coming to the snake farm, visitors will hear many mortal cases of snakebite saved by serum against venom. The thrilling story seems to be never happened but happened here. Since it was found, the center has treated well for a lot of people bitten by snakes, no case has died.

To get snake serum is very complicated. Only getting 1 to 2 drops of venom / one snake. Each year, a snake gives only over ten drops of venom. 10 grams of snake venom can modulate an amount of venom sufficient for whole country for one year. However, only 1 gram of venom can kill 165 people with an average weight of 60kg / person!

Coming to Dong Tam Snake Farm, travelers are also visited the first snake museum in Vietnam. This museum is recognized as Viet Nam first snake farm by Center of Vietnam record book, where keeping many snake types in Vietnam with more than 40 featured snakes in the Delta. Among them, the most notably thing is the 17-year-old cobra, 4.2 m in length, 18kg in weigh.
 
 
Snakes are exhibited at museum.

Each animal kind has its own beauty, about snakes, they are very dangerous in imagination of almost people, cannot be close. But when you come to Dong Tam Snake Farm, I am sure that you will have other thought, there are still many gentle and no poisonous snakes... and even if they are very venomous, they are still helpful for people if we know how to exploit. The world of snake is a mysterious world that we need learn more deeply.
 
  • Dong Tam Tien Giang Snake Farm open from 7am to 5pm daily.
  • Tickets are 30,000 VND / adult, 20,000 VND / children 6 - 12 years old, children under 6 years old are free of charge.
  • Dong Tam snake farm was built with the purpose of raising snakes to take the venom to produce serums and treat snake bites for people in the surrounding areas.

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