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Alice Springs Reptile Centre facts for kids

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Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Alice-springs-reptile-centre-logo.png
Date opened January 2000
Location Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
Coordinates 23°42′S 133°52′E / 23.7°S 133.87°E / -23.7; 133.87Coordinates: 23°42′S 133°52′E / 23.7°S 133.87°E / -23.7; 133.87

The Alice Springs Reptile Centre is a privately operated reptile centre and environmental education facility in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. It contains the largest collection of reptiles in the Northern Territory. Animals at the centre include the Perentie Goanna, Frill-necked Lizards, Thorny Devils, large and small pythons and venomous snakes including Inland Taipans, Brown Snakes, Death Adders and Mulga Snakes. The centre is a popular tourist destination, particularly for children.

The centre is devoted to indigenous reptiles. Many are collected from local properties or from areas about to be burned under the controlled burning program to keep bushfires from threatening local homes. Most of the reptiles end up being relocated to uninhabited areas. The Alice Springs Reptile Centre also doubles as a snake call centre, with the owner and staff going out to homes to remove venomous snakes from places where they might inconvenience people.

History

Founded by Rex Neindorf, a former reptile handler, the centre opened in January 2000, and features over 100 reptiles of 30 different species. Reptiles from the centre have featured in National Geographic Magazine, Wild Relations – Natural Born Cheats on ABC, an American Visa television commercial, New Zealand's The Bounty Hunters television show on TV2, Steve Irwin's Great Escapes on Discovery's Travel Channel and Animal Emergency on Channel 9 Australia. Directors including Frederic Lepage have filmed nature documentaries there.

The centre added a large Saltwater Crocodile exhibit in 2002, and in 2006 an extension funded by the Australian Tourism Development Program opened, featuring fossils which trace the evolution of reptiles from 200 million years ago to the present.

The centre is adjacent to Billy Goat Hill, which is on Crown land. After several incidents which saw reptiles in the centre killed, management sought to convince local police and the Lands Department to increase security on the hill – a spot frequented by youths and itinerant drinkers. Director of the centre, Rex Neindorf stated these efforts have been unsuccessful.

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