This private zoological garden dedicated to reptiles has an exciting history. At the age of 4, Hervé Maranda, the founding owner, discovered these animals during a trip. On the way back, he was given a big diamondback turtle from a fish shop. It was intended to be eaten as soup. However, the turtle was saved by its little admirer. From turtles to iguanas and caimans to crocodiles, his hobbies became a passion. By 1985, the passionate had a large collection of animals. He decided to found the Ferme de Reptiles Exotarium, a zoo specializing in the breeding of these strange animals. In 1990, the Exotarium, a zoological park dedicated to reptiles was launched. Thus, a large building, which was already too small, located in a farming area in Saint-Eustache, hosts the largest collection of reptiles, amphibians and other "cold-blooded" animals under the same roof in Quebec.
A refuge for "cold-blooded" animals
First of all, it is evident that nothing has been neglected to make sure that the tour of the Exotarium is worthwhile. Small labels show the name of the animal, and some more general information document sheets on these animals can be found in the spaces between the vivariums, aquariums and large glass cages. But, as we can imagine, it is the residents who are the most unusual. In this Alibaba cave, we discover a little-known world: in a vivarium, hooked to a branch, a friendly daytime gecko from Madagascar no bigger than an inch; further away, a family of pythons. In the back, a pair of African dwarf crocodiles, in front, part of their offspring. Nearby, in our alligator greenhouse, four specimens, as well as a colony of North American turtles, look at us with their glassy eyes. At the turn of a vivarium, you hear a strange, disturbing sound, a crackling. What's going on? A diamondback rattlesnake from the American West furiously shakes its rattle in front of the one who dared to pull it out of its torpor. Bravely, only listening to his guts, the visitor can stick out his tongue! Its neighbours: a young cobra, a poisonous lizard and a nice copper-headed viper. Caution! Don't think that everything at the Exotarium reptile farm is just a sweet thrill of horror.
Green snakes, colourful snakes, lizards of all shapes, caimans from the tropical depths, small and huge turtles make disgust disappear to eventually make place for amazement. For the bravest volunteers, the staff will be pleased to gently place a snake on their shoulders, or letting a hairy spider walk on their hands. For the owner, Hervé Maranda, this reptile refuge is primarily an educational centre. Many people have a fear or even repulsion for these animals. Yet, when they decide to overcome their fear and aversion, they can observe and touch them, and then tame themselves to be brave in their presence.
The slogan of Ferme de Reptiles Exotarium "Exoticism at its best" sums up your experience here. Some even say it's more exciting than a zoo. A visit to the Exotarium is a great opportunity to discover and touch living reptiles.
Visit our reptile farm!