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Navajo beliefs on snakes lead tribal zoo to abandon exhibit

General June 13, 2015

This 2009 photo from the Navajo Nation Zoo shows a rattlesnake, a part of the zoo's reptile collection in Window Rock, Ariz. Cultural beliefs among Navajos about snakes has lead to the removal of three snakes from the tribal zoo. Manager David Mikesic said Friday, June 12, 2015 that the zoo has exhibited snakes for decades but they've been unpopular. He says many school teachers didn't want children seeing them or even breathing the same air as the snakes. (David Mikesic/Navajo Naiton Zoo via AP)FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A zoo on the nation's largest American Indian reservation has eliminated its snake exhibit because cultural beliefs about the reptiles as bad omens were deterring visitors from seeing other animals.


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