The initial entrance consisted of a serene butterfly garden. We hunted for brightly coloured tree frogs amongst the ponds whilst admiring the gentle flutter and hum of lepidoptera. This lulled us into a false sense of security, as we exited the butterfly enclosure and were confronted with a killing machine.
The centers two American Crocodiles, prevalent in many Costa Rican mangroves and beaches, were 10 and 8 foot respectively. Although neither moved much from their positions submerged in the enclosure pool and despite the fence separating predator and prey we felt apprehensive turning our backs on these fellas.
The remaining residents included several turtle and terrapin species plus a variety of snake species native to Costa Rica. Despite being labelled as non-aggressive non-venomous one particular snake earned a bad reputation after repeatedly launching itself at us as we walked past the enclosure.
Half way around we came face to face with the infamous Terciopelo (fer-de-lance). This isone of the most venemous and aggressive snake species in the world. The two chaps seemed non-plussed by our presence however they are allegedly everywhere in Costa Rica and are absolutely unidentifiable in forests, scrubland, grass, soil, river banks and generally anywhere you might put your feet.
You would not see them coming. We hadn't seen any in the wild luckily, but no doubt they were lurking at every turn camouflaged from the human eye.
After regaining our wits we enjoyed the larger python and boa constrictor species who now seemed more friendly than our Terciopelo nemesis.
We headed back to SOC grabbing dinner on the way back through town. Later that evening Helen Ally and Will wandered the grounds of SOC for a darkness nature walk, seeing bats and frogs. Thankful for yet again managing to evade the Terciopelo for another day we retired to bed satisfied.