Animal lovers looking to learn more about exotic house pets and even take one home will have a chance at an upcoming reptile show.
The Las Vegas Reptile Expo is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18 at Santa Fe Station, 4949 N. Rancho Drive.
“More than 30 vendors from different states are expected to be at the expo,” said Tyler Stewart, co-founder of the expo. “The public can come and talk to experts from across the country. People will also have a chance to hold and interact with a variety of reptiles.”
Vendors will range from those selling supplies and enclosures to animals, such as chameleons, tortoises, snakes, geckos, bearded dragons, water turtles, tarantulas and scorpions.
“All of the animals sold must be in good health,” Stewart said. “We will have a vet patrolling the show with the authority to make vendors remove an animal from the table.”
VIP passes will be available for $25, which allows the purchaser access into the show an hour early on Saturday and Sunday.
The passes are made for people looking to get first choice on a specific reptile, Stewart said.
Reptiles range from $10 to $10,000. The more expensive reptiles are special-breed snakes and tortoises that are difficult to produce, according to Stewart.
The expo has been held twice a year in May and October since 2010, when Stewart and his partner Joe Danyi brought the event to Las Vegas.
“We grew up having gone to reptile expos, so we’re both critical of what kind of vendors will be there and how the reptiles are kept,” Danyi said. “We hold high standards to makes this an ethical, high-end show.”
Professionals from all over the country will be demonstrating tactics, tips and tricks scheduled at various times on both days.
Stewart expects between 3,000 and 5,000 people to attend the event.
“Las Vegas is a hard city to impress, but we’ve really developed a passionate following,” Danyi said.
He recommends families come on Sunday, when the day will be filled with children’s activities, such as face painting and balloon animals.
Raffle tickets will be given at the door and called throughout the day. Prizes include $100 giveaways, according to the founders.
Parking is free all weekend at Santa Fe Station. The public is not allowed to bring reptiles into the expo.
Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children younger than 12 and free for children younger than 2.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or pre-purchased at a discount rate through the website.
“Our goal is to educate the public about reptiles and take their fear away,” Stewart said. “Once they see and hold them, they realize that they’re not dangerous animals and can be easy pets since many require low maintenance.”
For more information, visit getreptiles.com.
Contact North View reporter Sandy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.