Do you have an interest in reptiles or ever wanted to own one?
(min cost $8)
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If so, the South Coast Reptile Club’s family open day could just be for you.
The open day will be held at the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club this Saturday, November 3 from 10am to 3pm.
Club president Anthony Visser said the event would be a great way to learn more about reptiles and what is required to keep the “stunningly beautiful and fascinating creatures.”
“There is a lot to keeping reptiles,” he said “members will be available on the day to tell you all about it.
“We will also cover how the licensing system works.”
And of course there will be plenty of live reptiles on display.
“It really is a great chance to learn about reptiles and we have some fascinating species in Australia and in particular in the Shoalhaven,” he said.
There will also be entertainment on the day, jumping castle and the Shoalhaven Zoo will have animals on display. Food and drinks will also be available.
Mr Visser has been a passionate reptile keeper from when he was young, growing up in South Africa.
“We lived in an area in South Africa that had a lot of snakes,” he said.
“I was petrified of snakes - the first time I encountered one I ran.”
Mind you it was cobra!.
“We moved to an area where we would see two to three snakes on average a day,” he said.
“My father bought me a book on reptiles so I could get an understanding of what could kill and what couldn't.
“I was fascinated - that was 30 years ago and I still love them.
“I find reptiles one of the nicest animals to keep.”
At one stage in South Africa he had 260 snakes including spitting cobras to anacondas and rattlesnakes through to common corn snakes.
He even encountered a two metre Cape cobra one of the most venomous snakes in the world.
But when his daughters arrived he decided it was better not to have the venomous and larger snakes.
He met his wife Juanita through their love of snakes and now their fascination has been continued by their daughters Ashley, 12 and Catelin, 7.
“We have a collection of pythons, lizards, geckos, monitors and frogs,” he said.
“The girls each have a pet python - Ashley a green tree python and Catelin an albino Darwin carpet python called Banana.
“Reptiles are also great pets if you like to travel - they are not like a budgie or dog you have to put in a kennel.
“Especially in winter they hibernate so you don't have to feed them as often - they are less labor intensive.
“They only need feeding once a month in the winter.”
The South Coast Reptile Club meets on the first Friday of each month adjacent to the Shoalhaven Zoo at North Nowra from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
“It’s another chance to come along and meet fellow reptile lovers. Our members are always keen to pass on their knowledge, expertise and experience,” he said.
The club was found by Nick Schilko, the owner of the Shoalhaven Zoo in 2004.
The zoo still supports the club in various ways, while the likes of Fins Fangs N Feathers, Inlet Butchery, DS Produce and C-B Tackle also back the club’s efforts.
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