I would not enter in my list of friends Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm. An inadvertent step may crush the snail That crawls at evening in the public path, But he has the humanity, forewarned, Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
Ever since Wednesday Addams cavorted about the creepy and kooky homestead stroking a pet tarantula or wearing a baby Ball Python like a mink stole, reptiles and invertebrates have been slowly slithering into the consciousness of exotic pet hobbyists. Now there is a conservative estimate that over 9 million homes in America have one or more reptiles as dear friends, pets and scientific living portals to another kind of life.
On Saturday, August 8th from 10AM to 6PM and Sunday the 9th from 10AM to 5PM, the Fairplex in Pomona will be hosting the 2015 Reptile Super Show. Whether you are a first timer, a youngster, or a fan from way back, the Super Show will have you knowledgable and amped up about snakes, turtles, poison arrow frogs, chameleons or the lazy bearded dragons by the time you walk out. Chances are you’ll have a cool and colorful cold blooded beastie on your shoulder when you do.
The Reptile Super Show travels from L.A. to San Diego, Anaheim and Las Vegas at different times of the year, but they will be expanding to other areas in the future. At Present it is the largest Reptile convention/fair in the country. The upcoming show this weekend promises 700 vendors, a variety of demonstrations, and show specials. Plus you can usually get your picture taken with a massive Boa Constrictor or a Tegu lizard the size of a pint-sized dinosaur and by that I mean big.
The main goal of the show and its primary sponsor, the United States of America Reptile Keepers (USARK), is to increase awareness about the proper care and breeding of reptiles in captivity. USARK also keeps a strong line of communication with The Wildlife and Game Commission with whom they occasionally bump heads. Currently there are several species that are being considered as undesirable in America. The Reptile Super Show and its many supporters in herpetology are trying to get this cleaned up in a way that all can live with. It is clear that USARK agrees with the government that poaching and illegal transport of live animals should be stopped. There is no need for a witch hunt, however, even though mistakes have been made in the past. Does anyone remember the Snake Head Fish? What a nightmare that was. At some point during the show there will be an auction that benefits USARK and other reptile societies and institutions.
The bulk of the show is housed in one of the largest halls in the Fairplex and it will be jam packed in there. People will be pumped up and proudly displaying their pets or tempting you to buy a new vivarium. Reptile owners are usually an offbeat but fun-loving crew. At the fair most have the welcome addition of being very knowledgeable without being pushy or snobbish IMHO. Part of the spirit of the show is to come away not only with a new pal, but with the knowledge needed to keep it around for a long time. You could even meet and join national and local forums and fanciers on species ranging from newts to two-headed gopher snakes.
If you are a fan of spiders, the ones at the show are healthy and beautiful. Affordable as well, if you get them as tiny hatchlings. Both of my tarantulas have just molted and both of them are visually stunning. There are also many booths containing toads, frogs, turtles and tortoises.
Every attendee gets a swag bag and small samples, ranging from premium turtle food to vitamins that intensify the coloring of the already impressive Panther Chameleon. By the end of the day, that bag can get a bit heavy. A little haggling can be done here and there especially if you are making multiple purchases, but on the whole, these dealers charge fair prices according to the quality of the goods, and in some cases you’re just stuck with a sky high price tag because some genius has figured out how to cross breed A Tegus with multi colored stripes or some such wonder.
There will be food trucks, beer, and frozen treats as well. I’m not sure if they will have gummy lizards or Rattlesnake Jerky, but one can dream, can’t one? Tickets are sold at the door. $14 adults and $9 for ages 12 & under. Parking $10 at Gate 9 on White Ave. Please leave your pets at home.