STAR ECO Station

Best Zoo Alternative, October 2006

On the Westside there are several ways to get up close and personal with a carnivorous reptile. You could visit CAA, for example. But when you’re looking to enlighten and entertain the kids, a better option is to visit the STAR ECO Station in Culver City. Down the block from NPR West, the Station is a halfway house for erstwhile exotic pets. One room shelters a trio of big cats; another, a gaggle of digit-loving tropical birds. Visitors even get to stroke a few of the hefty lizards and pythons in the reptile room. Tours last about an hour and emphasize the perils of poor animal husbandry—STAR is a nonprofit educational outfit, after all—so leave the snakeskin boots at home.