The Charming “Hiss”-tory of Snake Farm: The Zoo that Inspired the Song

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You’ve probably heard renowned songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard’s comical “Snake Farm,” but did you know the song was inspired by a real Snake Farm in Texas? Let us introduce you to the charming “hiss-“tory of Snake Farm. It’s located on Interstate 35 between San Antonio and the Hill Country town of New Braunfels. This slithery roadside attraction has been in operation since 1967. Back then it was just called Snake Farm. Today, after a huge expansion and becoming a fully-accredited zoo, it’s known as Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo. Each year, 400,000 visitors walk through the doors.

Perhaps you first heard of Snake Farm as a child, on a road trip to the Alamo with your folks, when you spotted a big yellow billboard just off the road advertising the attraction, and you begged your parents to stop. Perhaps your introduction came later as a teenager, when you saw the famed punk band The Ramones sporting Snake Farm t-shirts. Or maybe it wasn’t until Hubbard released his now-classic song back in 2006. The lyrics tell the sordid love story of a man who hates snakes but falls deeply in love with the woman who works at the Snake Farm.

The Charming "Hiss"-tory of Snake Farm: The Texas Zoo that Inspired the Song

Photo: Facebook/Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo

Today the zoo is home to more than just a huge number of snakes. The farm also houses a zoo for monkeys, parrots, hyenas, peacocks, and so many more unusual animals. There’s everything from white lions to black mambas.

Snakes are, of course, still a huge attraction and an important part of the operation. You can view every kind of snake from the commonplace to the exotic, including cobras, boas, and even an anaconda. Visitors will want to check out the top ten most venomous snakes. Care to guess what snake ranks at number one? That would be the Inland Taipan, though the Black Mamba ranks close as the second most deadly.

The Charming "Hiss"-tory of Snake Farm: The Texas Zoo that Inspired the Song

Photo: Facebook/Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo

If you’re too squeamish to pose for a photo op with a snake, you can always settle for a selfie under the huge Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo sign. The farm became Animal World a few years back when it was purchased by Dr. Eric Trager, and the facility now houses over 500 animals, a large number of which are rescues. Trager and his team of zoologists have succeeded in turning the farm into a truly impressive, fullscale zoo. Though still quirky fun, the facility now focuses on education and conservation.

Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo is located on Interstate 35 near Engel Road, south of New Braunfels. Visitors can receive a potentially life-saving education on their tour, as they learn which snakes are venomous and which are harmless. During the regular season of Memorial Day to Labor Day, the park holds four daily shows. Visitors can watch the staff feed every creature from wolves to crocodiles while enjoying informative talks.