Museum Reviews American International Rattlesnake Museum Albuquerque Nm

Tucked away into an unassuming corner building in Albuquerque’s Old Town, the American International Rattlesnake Museum is an animal conservation museum which focuses exclusively on rattlesnakes. The museum is divided into two parts: a collection of rattlesnake-related artwork, artifacts, and memorabilia, and a display of live rattlesnakes.

The static display is fascinating in itself. From snake games to statues of snake goddesses, from license plates to Acoma Pueblo pottery, if it involves rattlesnakes, the Rattlesnake Museum either has it or has a picture of it.

However, what everyone comes to see is the rattlesnakes. About 50 living rattlesnakes of 34 different varieties are usually on display, including the endangered massassauga rattlesnake and the timber rattlesnake featured on early American flags. Species from North, Central, and South America are represented, all in beautifully recreated habitats that rival those of the best zoos. This collection includes more rattlesnakes than the Bronx Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Zoo, the Denver Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo combined. Unusual colorings such as yellow and black morphs and albino rattlesnakes are also part of the collection, as is a Gila monster. Every snake is carefully labeled, including its taxonomy and history.

A large part of the educational fascination of this collection is the passion and knowledge of museum owner and curator Bob Myers. A former biology teacher, Myers turned his personal passion into a full-time career when he opened the Rattlesnake Museum in 1990. Amazingly, in all that time, Myers has only been bitten once.

As part of the conservation theme, no rattlesnake body parts are sold in the gift shop except for shed fangs and skin. The Rattlesnake Museum t-shirts are especially popular, with over 25,000 sold. They are available in a wide range of colors, and are mailed out around the world.

Over 275 school tours visit the Rattlesnake Museum each year. Even so, adult visitors outnumber children nearly 5 to 1, demonstrating that the American International Rattlesnake Museum offers an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Admission is $3.50 for adults, $3 for seniors, military, and students, and $2.50 for children.

The American International Rattlesnake Museum can be found at 202 San Felipe NW, two blocks off Route 66 in Albuquerque’s historic Old Town. Regular hours of operation are from 11:30 am 5:30 pm Monday to Friday (school tours from 10-11:30 am), Saturday 10 am 6 pm, Sunday 1 pm 5 pm. Summer hours are 10 am 6 pm Monday to Saturday, 1-5 pm Sunday. Closed holidays and during animal rescues.