Malaysian café offers diners a chance to eat with reptiles

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 8:03 AM EST
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Malaysia - (Reuters) - A Malaysian café on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur is serving desserts with a side of hiss, by giving its customers the chance to experience having their cakes and waffles right next to lizards, tarantulas, gerbils, and snakes.

The wildlife-friendly Fangs café, which opened to the public in December, is filled mostly with reptiles that its 20-year-old owner Yap Ming Yang either bred or collected over the years.

Here, customers can enjoy a hot cup and observe or interact with the cafe’s resident reptiles – a twist on the many cat cafes popular throughout Asia.

Many customers were enticed by the interactivity of the café.

“Usually if you go to a pet store, you’re not really allowed to touch it, right? And I saw from the photos on Instagram that you can interact with them. So, it’s quite a cool experience I think,” said reptile enthusiast Alethea Lim.

The café features several enclosures, each housing a different species of reptile, with staff members available to answer questions and ensure the safety of both the animals and customers.

Café owner Yap says he hopes to encourage a more favorable attitude towards reptiles and other animals that are typically deemed unappealing.

“People only care about furry animals - cats, dogs. But people always leave out reptiles and snakes and even though for, let’s say Malaysia right, many of our native snakes, native reptiles, native animals are neglected,” Yap said.

Malaysia is a country rich in biodiversity, with a vast range of reptiles such as snakes, lizards and crocodiles that can be found in its thick tropical jungles, or even in urban areas.

Reptiles play an important part in any ecosystem, sometimes acting as apex predators or fulfilling other roles within the wildlife food chain.