Hundreds of reptiles will be slithering into the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend.
Leopard geckos, boa constrictors, and ball pythons are among the creatures guests can expect to see at Repticon. Reptiles will be sold at the event, but organizers urge people to think carefully before selecting one as a pet.
“It all depends on the person owning them,” Repticon staff member Mike Dean said. “For a lot of our vendors, our main goal is teaching people how to take care of these animals. We know a lot of them have long life spans.”
Each hour, guests can see presentations on the best ways to care for these animals.
Dean said it’s especially important that people are cautious with their reptiles, as ones that are set loose into the wild or escape can wreak havoc on the Florida ecosystem.
There will be wildlife rescues on site who can teach people what to do if they're no longer able to care for a reptile.
For those looking for a good family pet, Dean suggests a bearded dragon or a ball python. He said bearded dragons are very social animals that people can dress in costumes and walk on leashes.
“Ball pythons are a big thing because they're not super large,” Dean said. "They're super friendly and good for little kids. They're main defense is that they just curl up into a ball.”
Repticon takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.