Monday, July 10, 2017

The Reptile Super Show! [Not For the Faint of Heart]

Over the weekend the "Reptile Super Show" took over the Concourse Civic Center here in San Diego. It was certainly a sight to see with an astronomical amount of species to adopt, learn about, or simply just hold. Along with animals themselves, you could also purchase a number of supplies for your little pals, at a decently discounted price. The tickets themselves were rather pricey - $14 for adults and $9 for kids aged 12 and under - but they did provide a coupon on their website for you to easily redeem. 

Parking was supplied if you chose to park at the Civic Center, but seeing as how we chose to go on a Sunday and not on a Saturday - the show took place both days, we snagged a free spot within walking distance. 

The vendors ranged from only animals, animals and supplies, suppliers, and edible plants for all your [potentially] new purchases. Quite a few big named brands were there: Zoo Meds, Exo Terra, etc., along with some locally infamous pet stores. Including the pet store we adopted Yoda from (see that post HERE)! 

Our first stop was to check out the closest vendor, which showcased a few baby red-foots mixed with some others. These had a hefty price of $175 and while I wanted to just snuggle every single one of them, that was WAY out of my price range. Not only that, but I was very concerned with housing a baby tortoise, seeing as how it's tiny stature would instantly make me fear of it's [possibly] fragile state. Besides, they are way to small to give Yoda some company, which would be the sole purpose of adopting another one. I tend to think he likes his peace though, because he doesn't have to share the cuddles with any other tortoises. Just my padawan, but he [carefully] pets Yoda as well and showers him with attention. Yoda's spoiled, what can I say.

Let me take a second to mention this now: I couldn't stand how majority of the reptiles were housed for this show. They were cramped in tiny little containers with dirt, a paper towel, or even sometimes nothing. A few were larger containers than others, but majority were too small for the animals themselves without ANY holes. It down right broke my heart and made me want to free them all. Of course that wouldn't help anyone, because they'd only be harmed from the people most likely in fear, but I still didn't like it. 

I understand that they weren't permanent houses for the little creatures, but could you imagine being jammed inside this tiny plastic container with giant humans poking the plastic enclosure you're being held hostage in?! Do you SEE why I wanted to rescue them all?!

Pushing aside my temptation to create a massive breakout, I continued to stroll through in hopes of finding some goodies for Yoda and his upcoming outdoor enclosure. We saw some gorgeous geckos and lizards, loads of tortoises (even a few Yoda's size, but again we didn't want to risk his happiness), and a few animals that were incredibly close to becoming additions to our family. 

There was a plant vendor that was incredibly knowledgeable about plants for certain animals, but unfortunately they didn't have any for Yoda. I had high hopes for at least a small hibiscus plant, but alas I was out of luck. This isn't necessarily a huge drag though, as I'm holding out hope for when we check out the tortoise and turtle show at Balboa Park later this month!

The lizards we're spectacular and we even held a very friendly bearded dragon, who ever so kindly snuggled on my hand like he belonged there. I wanted him, but I knew that for now Yoda was to be the only pet in our home. Perhaps someday though. I did like the colorful dragons, but something about the common bearded dragons just made my heart thump.

Another close call was a chameleon. There gorgeous colors, the slow movements, the constant moving eyes. Oh how I desired one. But they don't like to be handled very often, require a strict atmosphere, and can be extremely delicate. If you don't do things just right, you can end up harming your expensive adoptee. Of course this is true for most animals (if you don't do things right that is), but chameleons - or so I was told - are up there on the "high maintenance" list. 

The last close call for me was a very peculiar bug, that hardly anyone would even consider owning. You yourself would probably run away quickly if you saw one in the wild, but me, I wanted him. Granted he was a from a pet shop where he's been handled and hasn't lived the "wild life", but regardless I want one. No I'm not going to go out hunting for them either, as they would NOT be domesticated whatsoever. What am I talking about? The vinegaroon.

The vinegaroon, also known as the whip scorpion, is an extremely harmless little fellow. His only real means of defense - and attack - is the ability to give off a strong odor that closely resembles vinegar (hence the name). This tends to ward of predators. They don't sting, bite, pinch, or even see for that matter. They are one of the easiest pets to own, literally requiring a minimum of 2 inches of dirt and a meal when you can. That's right, you could potentially go up to about 3 months of not feeding them and they'd simply hibernate until you do. Of course that's not recommended AT ALL, but it's simply a fact to show how versatile these creatures can be. 

They're stature is a bit off-putting, keeping most humans at bay when it comes to handling them. I gladly took up the opportunity to have one "chill" on my hand, while I basked in the glory that laid before me. I definitely got quite a few stares and "what the heck is she doing?!" whispers swarmed around me, but the vendor (coincidentally the same one that gave us precious Yoda) patiently said "no worries, he's harmless". I wanted one, but I knew that due to my obsession of wanting to hold him, he may get curious and venture off into a spot where I couldn't retrieve him. Also, I was slightly worried Yoda might try to attack him or vice versa. We only want good vibes here, so I sadly said goodbye to my new vinegaroon friend and wished him well. 

It took roughly an hour and a half to walk the convention in it's entirety, gaining a ton of knowledge regarding red-footed tortoises (and a small bundle of mealworms for the shell baby), but nothing else. I don't think I'll ever be returning to the convention, but the experience and information learned was exciting enough to call this a semi-success. Still want to free all the prisoners, but I'm hoping they find wonderful homes of freedom with awesome families who will adore them.

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