Reptile Shows Are A Must

Reptile Shows Are A Must

We visited our first reptile show on Sunday (26th September 2010) – The International Herpetological Society Show at The Dome in Doncaster UK.

With excitement, we set off on Saturday night for an overnight stay in High Melton, near Doncaster. Arriving at nearly 1am it had been a long day. We were up early on Sunday morning and raring to go, we were about to go to a hall complete of reptiles and other critters for sale. It was very exciting.

We arrived, later than we wanted to be, and the queue although circular was enormous. We waited patiently for just over half an hour, and we were finally in! For the first minute or so, we stood there open mouthed, agog at the tables set out in front of us, complete of reptiles looking for new homes.

Once we got our tongues back in our mouths, we started moving around the tables – there were snakes, lizards, invertebrates and equipment, all at good prices! We were smiling, excited as we saw what was obtainable to us. Everywhere we turned there were critters that took our eye! Way too many bearded dragons and leopard geckos for our liking, and corn snakes galore. Such a shame – we could not provide to buy them all and were looking for something different to offer Critterish Allsorts customers.

As we walked around, we noticed that there was an exotic mammals section upstairs. OMG! We ventured upstairs. A tiny room lined with tables complete of tiny furry critters, the most noticable being lemmings and pygmy hedgehogs – especially the cinnacot one, but with a price tag of 125 it was way out of our price range.

Back inside the hall, we were astonished at some of the animals we saw. A breeding pair of albino gopher snakes, which were dramatically, some amazing insects but most noticeably a file snake – an incredible animal with very rough scales and an almost triangular shape. I held it briefly and it was amazing, i fell in love. They are incredibly hard to find, and this one was not for sale, but I put my name down to be notified when they do become obtainable.

There were python morphs obtainable at prices upwards of 1500! We had been round the room twice, when I said to my wife “We need to start buying stuff now or we will start missing out”. We came across a table complete of milk snakes and kingsnakes (babies) – this was where we chose our first buy – Queenie, our Chihuahua Mountain Kingsnake. Smiling and revelling in her beauty. We continued around the hall, looking at the tables, considering our options. We looked at and handled many critters, ultimately coming to a table filled with all sorts of critters – baby geckos, baby snakes, tortoises, amphibians. My wife noticed a baby corn snake – although we had said no more corn snakes (we already had 2), this one was labelled as “reject” and priced as a give away, pet only. She was beautiful, but had a slight genetic defect – a kinked spine, not for breeding. Well we took one look at Ivy out of her box and could not resist – we would give her a loving home. On the same table i spotted the axolotls – I have wanted one since seeing one at Chester Zoo as a child on a school trip! I bought them both!

So we now had 4 new animals. I had spotted the giant prickly stick insects before. There were also milk snakes obtainable at this table and we really fancied a milk snake – trouble is the babies are very fast and skittish and could not be taken out. Well we stopped and had another look at the stick insects. They were interesting, and big not to mention only a third of the size they would grow to be! They were so cheaply priced that it was not worth saying no!! An interesting addition to our menagerie!

We continued, and this was when we happened upon what was to become our tangerine Honduran milk snake. A gorgeous orange and black banded reptile with an amazing temperament. He was too highly priced for us, and my wife thought a crested gecko would suit us better. The guy would not move on his price and so we broke for a drink and some lunch. We sat with our friends Gary and Lisa from Gr8 Reps. We compared purchases and congratulated each other on new critters. Then about an hour later we returned to the hall and prices were starting to plummet.

We kept returning to the table with the milk snake, and he kept saying come back later and we’ll see what we can do. We went back 3 or 4 times, unable to decide what to do with our last bit of cash! ultimately, we managed to get the milk snake at such a knock down price that we were able to get a crested gecko too – and despite the fact that no body would move on crested gecko prices, we managed to get that one at an absolute steal too:)

If you do go to one of these shows have a budget and do your research. You need to know what you want but you also need to know how to care for, house and satisfy the critter you are wanting. Can you give it everything it needs? If you cannot provide an animal with everything it needs to live a healthy and comfortable life, then please DO NOT buy it – only buy if you can give, bear in mind that these animals will live for 10-20 years after you have purchased them. They need your love, your commitment, your attention, your care, your money and necessary vet care in their times of need.

Our journey home was complete of smiles and excited conversation about our new critters – and we named each and every one!! It was a great fun adventure that I am sure we will repeat in the future!!

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