There was a pet store in my neighborhood (Petcetera) that had all kinds of fascinating creatures. The best creature was a full-size (5 feet, from snout to tip of tail) alligator in a steel tub. The tub had a makeshift screen cover so that the alligator couldn't escape.
A screen cover.
So the ALLIGATOR couldn't escape.
I think it was drugged anyway — it just laid there, blinking it's beautiful eyes.
Of course there were snakes, and I don't know much about snakes, but what I do know is pretty scientifically accurate. When snakes speak, they drag out their s's.
They're usually pretty shy but if you give one a frozen mouse they are your friend for at least 5 seconds.