Arizona’s largest and oldest reptile present welcomed about 12,000 Tucsonans


TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Lizards, snakes, geckos and alligators welcomed about 12,000 Tucsonans this weekend on the Tucson Reptile and Amphibian Present.

The present first began in 2002 and is the state’s largest and oldest reptile present. Their objective is to not solely educate individuals about wildlife, however to hopefully ship them residence with a brand new pet.

“It’s a must to maintain them gentle and comfortable,” stated 5-year-old, Emma Thomas.

You may assume Emma is speaking a few new pet or kitten…

“We’re going to purchase two dragons,” stated Emma.

However she’s speaking about her new pets—two Crested Geckos from the present.

“We got here in right here simply to have a look,” stated Emma’s mother, Alicia Barnes.

Wolfson stated the aim of the occasion is to teach the neighborhood on the roles reptiles and amphibians play in our ecosystem and to debunk any misconceptions—or myths.

“I haven’t seen any little dragon chew or blow fireplace,” Emma stated.

Greater than 100 distributors from across the nation come to the present to reply questions on wildlife and to hopefully change the minds of those that are afraid.

“The extra you understand about it, the much less afraid you’re of it. These venomous snakes, sure you must respect them, and you ought to be afraid to be bitten however not terrified. They’re behind glass. So, it is crucial to try this and notice the place they’re in our ecosystem,” stated Russ Johnson with the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary.

Wolfson stated a foremost cause why he continues the present is to cut back concern in the neighborhood.

“There’s extra reptiles in and across the metropolis of Tucson than just about another metropolis within the nation,” stated Wolfson.

And to hopefully train showgoers like Emma a factor or two.

“I realized we have now to feed the dragons fruit and that snakes chew,” Emma stated.

The annual present will return subsequent fall.

Religion Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Earlier than coming to KGUN, Religion labored as a videographer for the Phoenix Youngsters’s Hospital Basis and as a reporter and producer on the youth suicide documentary, “Life is…” on Arizona PBS.
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