ANIMAL ATTRACTION?: Maili Ansell, 3 of Suffolk Park with a blue tongue lizard at the Relocation Reptile awareness session at Lennox Head Library. Story, Page 5 Jacklyn Wagner
ANIMAL ATTRACTION?: Maili Ansell, 3 of Suffolk Park with a blue tongue lizard at the Relocation Reptile awareness session at Lennox Head Library. Story, Page 5 Jacklyn Wagner

Kids told about reptile awareness

A REPTILE awareness show at Lennox Head Public Library had more than 100 children transfixed at the sight of a 3.2m olive snake called Kalamata which they were able to hold, touch and even kiss.

The activity was so successful that most of the 50 parents present at the library ended up reaching out to touch the reptiles just as their children did.

A baby python called Homer, a black python called Darth Vader and the very famous Kalamata were part of the "pack" of educational information for kids about Australian reptiles.

Tony Harrison, owner of Reptile Relocation and Awareness in the Gold Coast, started almost 18 years ago as a snake catcher but quickly the education and awareness shows became very popular.

For Mr Harrison it is all about saving two lives: the person's and the snake's.

"The mum of one of the girls that was holding the python today said to me that she did not want to come to the show because she hates snakes.

"One hour later she's in front of the camera kissing it. That girl will do the correct thing next time she faces a snake and will not kill it," he said.

The reptile expert started showing his animals because of the amount of incorrect information he encountered as a snake catcher.

"People believe that a baby brown snake is not as bad as an adult one. Also, that if a snake has got patterns on her back it is not venomous.

"There is so much false information out there about them. If I can teach people the facts that save one snake and one human, then my job is done."



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