BANGOR, Maine — Snakes worn like accessories. Lizards on leashes. Tiny red-eye tree frogs stuck to the sides of aquariums and one ball python with a marking of a moose head.
That was just part of the scene at the Cross Insurance Center on Sunday, where enthusiasts gathered to take in all the excitement of the Northeast Reptile Expo. Varieties of snakes, lizards, tortoises, amphibians and more were available to buy or just there on display for people to admire and enjoy.
“If I could choose just one,” said 12-year-old Lillian Hopkins of Pittsfield, “I’d probably choose some kind of really cool ball python.” Lillian, who was at the expo as part of her birthday gift, said she always has been fond of snakes and loves catching garter snakes outside.
Not all reptile lovers started out that way, though. Sylvia Campbell, who owns Prehistorix with her boyfriend Dave Hallenborg, didn’t always like snakes.
“As a kid, I always had turtles and frogs, but was terrified of snakes and spiders,” said Campbell. “My fear went away when I met Dave and became familiar with them. I realized that they weren’t going to attack me.
“Once you know them, you know when they’re angry and when not to bother them,” said Campbell.