Reptile Show slithers into San Jose


Nisha Marino

Attendees were able to hold this Jaguar Carpet Python while it looked for a forever home.

Nisha Marino, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

People of all ages joined together last weekend to interact with reptiles.

The San Jose Reptile Show is an annual exhibition held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Expo Hall. Local vendors bring a variety of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and tortoises, some of which are bred and some of which are rescued. Some of the animals are for sale, while others are available for attendees to hold, pet, and take pictures with. Vendors bring pet maintenance materials for sale as well.

One goal of the San Jose Reptile Show is to expose people of all ages to a different side of reptiles than what is shown in society.

“It’s really fun for me to come to these types of shows,” Joe Lam, founder of JnW Reptile Rescue, said. “I love educating people about all kinds of reptiles.”

In one corner of the hall, the Reptile Show caters to children, providing coloring pages and other reptile-related arts and crafts. Many parents brought their children to the show for a hands-on experience with the snakes, lizards, and tortoises.

One attendee, Jaycie Miller, has been going to reptile shows for nearly 20 years. This year was her second time going to the San Jose show.

“I’ve always been interested in ‘weird’ stuff like this, and now my kids are, too,” Miller said. “[Reptiles] are not the norm here, in any sense.”

The enthusiasm within the expo was audible as vendors and attendees alike happily discussed the animals on display. Attendees were able to learn about reptile care while vendors shared their expertise.

“After vet school, I worked at a few different clinics,” Jennifer Ramsey, founder of Creepy Critters Rescue, said. “But everything was about money and not about the animals, which is what I’m passionate about, so I started Creepy Critters Rescue.”

Some vendors, like Creepy Critters Rescue, sold recycled materials for lower prices to ensure that money didn’t hold pet-owners back from proper care.

“We lose [money] to cute, fluffy animals a lot,” Ramsey said. “People like bunnies a lot more than snakes, and it’s hard for us to change that.”