ASHEBORO, NC - North Carolina Zoo keepers and education staff will present programs on snakes, snake myths and the important role snakes play in nature during a special event, "Save Our Snakes," at the park this weekend, May 15 & 16.

Programs, presented each day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., will include:

Crafts, poster presentations and a puppet show at "kidZone," 1-3 p.m.; zoo keeper talks and a Wheel-of-Snake-Trivia game at Cypress Swamp, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; zoo keeper talks and North Carolina snake identification at Streamside, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; and zoo keeper talks and snake tracking at the N.C. Zoo, presented at the Sonora Desert exhibit, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

"There are so many misconceptions about snakes," said Laura Valadez, animal management supervisor at the zoo. "Programs like these can only help people understand how much we need to save our snakes rather than kill them."

All programs and activities are free with paid zoo admission.

As an added bonus, visitors can experience the park's orchid show in the Africa Pavilion, featuring more than 300 individual orchids, including Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Oncidium, Dendrobium, Miltoniopsis and Intergenerics hybrids.

"Save Our Snakes" is made possible by the signature special-events sponsor Coca-Cola.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.