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Surprises abound on Global Village’s wild side

Reptile Village with its exotic species has been an attraction at the fair since 2001

Gulf News

Dubai: King snakes and two-headed lizards are lurking in Global Village — as part of a carefully managed show, organisers said.

More than 70 species of rare snakes, lizards, iguanas, hedgehogs and turtles are on show at the Reptile Village section of Dubai’s largest fair.

The section also goes by the name ‘Amazon’ for its exotic wildlife and theme.

All wildlife exhibits on display are non-poisonous and well cared for, Global Village said in a statement. Visits too are being managed ensuring the highest standards of safety and comfort.

In the urban jungle of Dubai, the Reptile Village is a rare treat for those wishing to see exotic animals and learn about their background, the statement added.

Apparently the reptiles too are pleased at the opportunity — with some Dh1,000 spent on their food every week, and meals served in the mornings before doors open to visitors, said Reptile Village founder and owner Gobash Ali.

Every creature at the section receives a regular medical examination to ensure both the health of the wildlife and the safety of visitors, Ali said.

He said that the presence of the snakes in Global Village complies with the highest standards of security and safety controls, and all the reptiles on display have been accorded health certificates beforehand.

Ali added that Global Village has provided a favourable environment for all the reptiles in terms of lighting, temperature and adequate food.

“Global Village is full of many events from around the world, something which is virtually reflected in the snakes on display at the Reptile Village as they have also been brought in from around the world for the pleasure and knowledge of the audience here,” ali said.

“There are various exotic types of snakes in the Reptile Village, of various shapes and sizes, but the most popular species here are Royal Snakes, also referred to as King Snakes, or Milk Snakes, or even Corn Snakes, and all are non-poisonous species.”

Ali went on to say that, within the lizard display is the Green Iguana of South Africa, known as the two-headed lizard because it tucks in its tail which makes it look two-headed. The lizard can also disguise its looks by camouflaging its skin colour to blend in with the environment, a ploy it uses to catch unsuspecting prey.

Reptile Village, which this year features wildlife from more than 65 countries, has been a regular sideshow to Global Village for over 10 years now.

“I make sure that I participate in Global Village every year since my first participation in 2001, and this year I decided to participate with various species — 72 of them — of non poisonous snakes,” Ali said.

“This collection includes snakes brought from the United States, Indonesia, Thailand, China and further North, as well as rare types and varieties of lizards, iguanas, hedgehogs and turtles.”