Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Winnipeg reptile expo draws rare and threatened animals

WINNIPEG – Reptiles were on the loose this weekend at the Manitoba Reptile Breeders Expo.

“It’s amazing, I love all the animals and the reptiles,” said one child visiting the expo.
Over 1,000 reptiles were on display and up for sale, from geckos, tarantulas, tortoises, and snakes.

Rare reptiles made an appearance like axolotl’s, which are believed to be extinct in the wild but are now thriving in captivity.

Not thriving are the Western Hognose snakes. They’re a threatened Manitoba species found in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

“If we lose them then the balance of nature is unbalanced,” said Judy Robertson with Wildlife Haven, one of the vendors at the expo educating visitors about Manitoba reptiles.

But one thing organizers say all reptiles have in common is that they’re low maintenance, making them a great pet option.

“They’re really easy to take care of, you don’t have to walk them, you can play with them when you want or leave them alone,” said Steven Rempel, Prairie Exotics.

Tarantula owners agree. “They’re really easy to care for and very docile spiders so you can hold them and they’re great for looking at,” said Stephanie Kolodka, tarantula owner.

Close to 1,000 people walked through the expo on Saturday and Sunday stopping at the 23 vendors to learn about reptiles and touch them too.

But not all reptiles are legal as pets in Winnipeg after a bylaw was passed last year that doesn’t allow pet crocodylia or venomous reptiles.

Source: Here

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