OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- We're all pretty brave when there's a pane of thick glass between us and a rattlesnake.
Maybe that's the appeal of Carl Sandefer's newest venture in Oklahoma City, a former pet store turned venomous snake museum.
"There is a fascination," says Carl of his most dangerous snakes. "Between cottonmouths chasing you on the inner tube or rattlesnakes showing up on your doorstep."
Early in his career Carl worked for the Oklahoma City Zoo.
He also started a venture we visited back in 1995 called Creepy Hollow when he specialized in getting school groups to look and feel about snakes in a different way.
Sandefer says, "I try to talk to everybody."
So Carl had a lot of snakes at his house after Creepy Hollow slithered to its end as a business.
But people were still catching snakes live and bringing them over.
They were often poisonous snakes.
"I would go ahead and take it," he says, "because at least I know, with me, it wasn't going to bite somebody. I don't have to worry about it."
Earlier this year, he got the idea that resulted in this museum, less of the 'touchy feely' part of his old place, but more of the fascination we all feel toward something so potentially dangerous outside the glass.
Elaborating on his educational idea, Sandefer says, "I put them all in cages next to each other so people can come and see the difference."
You can find them all here; rattlers, cottonmouths, and all but one of the Copperhead subspecies living in Oklahoma.
"All the venomous snakes in Oklahoma are covered," he says.
The star of the museum though, is 'Big Girl' a really large Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake that Carl insists isn't fat, just naturally thick.
"She's approaching 6 feet long and weighs 22 pounds," says Carl. "We don't feed her that often. She's just a big, heavy snake."d
The Rattlesnake Museum opened right after the July 4th weekend and the people just keep lining up.
Snakes and a few lizards, all sporting a nasty bite, all close up, and all safe right where they are.
For more information on the museum and their schedule go to http://www.facebook.com › Places › Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The museum offers free admission but owners ask for donations from visitors.