On our way to the Black Hills of South Dakota, Drake and I stopped in Rapid City. Here, while drinking a latte at the Target Starbucks we were approached by a gentleman who knew immediately that we weren’t from the area. William is a local tour guide that was out enjoying his day off. Originally we had planned to go directly to Mt. Rushmore, but were persuaded by William to wait till sun-down and stay for the lighting ceremony. This gave us an entire day to venture out and explore the Black Hills and surrounding areas, so we set out for a new experience…

Our first stop took us to the Reptile Gardens, here we met Lance Fuhrman. Lance was hosting the snake show, here he showed us some key snakes from this Burmese Python to a Rattlesnake and more. After a short Q&A, we proceeded to interview him about his career working with reptiles. Lance, being a local to the Rapid City are has been working at the Reptile Gardens since a teenager in 1995.

Lance never thought he would be working a job that my get him bit or slowly suffocated as dinner, but at that age– it was a job, and he wasn’t going to be picky. After a few years of proving his skill and tactful understanding of these creatures, management offered him the opportunity to train for the shows which also included the alligators. Lance mentioned, that ‘yes’ he had been bitten by a few of the snakes in the past, but had been fortunate enough to never get on the wrong side with a venomous snake (I believe someone promptly knocked on some wood.) He now does both the snake and alligator shows and “rock’d it.” Lance seemed to enjoy what he did, he certainly was very knowledgeable and presented much in site into the anatomy and lives of these great reptiles.

–>Information on the Burmese Python coming soon!!!

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Here, Drake and I are holding an 8 foot long Burmese Python. I’m so happy it’s being fed rabbits and it didn’t mistake me for dinner 🙂 Supposedly, once acquainted with a long-term diet they rarely go for something else, unless agitated (but then again, I may be a mouth-full for this one to handle.)

–> Information about the Reptile Gardens coming soon!