Reptiles slither into Chico


[metaslider id=34585]
Photographs by Chelsea Jeffers.

At the second annual Chico Reptile Show, members of Chico surrounded themselves with some slithery friends of all sizes.

The Chico Reptile Show was hosted Saturday at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once inside, attendees found themselves surrounded by cages and display booths filled with snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and even scorpions.

Garrett Walker, a senior business entrepreneurship major, brought one of his Colombian red tail boas named Honey to the show along with some of her babies to sell.

“This is my first year doing the show,” Walker said. “I started breeding them. I picked my female off Craigslist as a hobby. I adopted my male, and they bred and I got 22 babies out of it. I sold off 18 of them. I’m hoping to move on to bigger and better snakes.”

Along with reptiles, booths sold reptile food and necessary housing items. Most of the animals were for sale or up for adoption.

“They’re great pets, I love them,” Walker said. “I have a job and go to school so I’m able to keep them at home. They are extremely low maintenance. I like to recommend snakes for college students. They don’t require the attention of a dog or cat.”

The show was a great opportunity to be interactive with exotic reptiles. Most snakes and lizards could be held or touched with the supervision of the owner or professional at hand.

With 25 vendors at the show, there were a lot of animals up for sale. Costs of the reptiles differed depending on size and species.

“I’ve sold one snake today, possibly two more,” Walker said. “This show is a lot better than last year, it’s about three times the size. I wasn’t in the show last year, I just came and watched. I do it for the fun. I like the animals, they’re great animals.”

Bruce Smith-Peters, producer of Chico’s Reptile Show and a lecturer for multicultural and gender studies at Chico State, has a lot of enthusiasm for the show and utilizes it as a source for selling snakes, he said.

This was the second annual show that Smith-Peters produced and he loves the people and the reptiles that this event brings in.

“The venders are happy, people are happy,” Smith-Peters said. “I see so many kids coming through just looking at snakes; that’s the fun thing. That’s what makes it important. A lot of these kids are learning about reptiles and lizards and things and they’re not so much on the video games. It’s something else to do.”

Taylor Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or @TaySinclair17 on Twitter.