Big crowds slither to Repticon in Grapevine

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GRAPEVINE -- Lovers of all things scaly coiled up at the Grapevine Convention Center this weekend for the latest edition of Repticon!

The expo brings together dozens of reptile breeders and vendors to show off and sell creatures of all shapes and sizes, from tiny turtles to big boas.

"[Reptiles] are really interesting not only to look at but to hold, to feel," says Repticon rep Klay Menard.  "They're not like cats or dogs, they're not as predictable."

Repticon slithers across the country and was making its third appearance in DFW, and the attendance this weekend was on track to be the biggest yet in this area (it will return three times in 2019).  And some of the enthusiasts who came out have collections that could rival the convention!

"We already have 21 snakes," said Megan Maienfisch, who picked up No. 22 for her household, a super pastel calico yellow belly.  "We also have an iguana, chameleon, frogs, turtles, crested geckos."

While some of you are no doubt grossed out at that thought, Menard says reptiles can actually be really good coping mechanisms for some people.

"A lot of kids that have autism and social disorders really like reptiles because they're quiet and they're calm, which, you know, calms them down."

But before you go shopping, and even if you already have a reptile pet (or a couple dozen), make sure you do a lot of homework before committing to these creatures.

"Start small," advises Menard.  "Don't go for the biggest, most expensive thing first.  [And] do your research.  Just because you see a snake that's cute doesn't mean you know what it's going to do.  There's some really pretty, gorgeous snakes over here that will grow up to, like, 20 feet."

Yeah...we'll stick to zoos for seeing those up close!

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