The Youth Expo Experience 2013

On April 12th-14th the annual Youth Expo was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The Youth Expo is a gathering of educational displays and non-profit organizations centered on a younger crowd. We have gotten to be a part of this wonderful event for about 10 years now and always enjoy participating. 

Our set up has a tortoise pin, cages with various reptiles, and our infamous T-Rex on display. Throughout the day two of our employees have out two different animals for the crowd to interact with, typically being a bearded dragon and a ball python. 

We tried out a new in-car TV technique this year in which we had a TV in the trunk of one of our party cars. It continually played episodes from The Reptile Zoo series and people could come and watch whenever they pleased. Not to mention it looked pretty cool. 

Our unique animals offer a unique experience for all ages. Who wouldn’t love getting up close and personal with these awesome animals?

 

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Introducing GRAIN!

 

In response to the countless pushes in legislation to ban or prohibit ownership of reptiles and other exotics, more based in fear and false accusations, we have joined up with other leaders in the reptile industry to create an educational resource to continue to promote fact based respect and care for these animals.

As our community continues to grow we are overwhelmed by the positive support we have received! Below are just a few of the great examples of GRAIN supporters from around the world sharing their love and knowledge about these amazing animals with their community.

My daughter with our tortoise, Donna. I bought Donna the same month I got pregnant. These two have always been with each other. Donna is 6 yrs old and my daughter is 5. :) -Mindi SueLee

 

You can see the passion in these childrens eyes! They arent born with a fear and hatred of these animals, its given to them by their guardians, and the media!!! Lets show them the truth! EDUCATION TRUMPS SPECULATION!!!!! SHOWING PEOPLE WHAT THESE ANIMALS ARE REALLY ABOUT!!!!! NOT THE BS THAT THE MAJORITY BELIEVE!!!!This is what its about!!! Teaching the next generation about these wonderful animals, and guiding them the RIGHT WAY!!!! -Jake Klotz

 

Here's a pic from when my educational program got the cover of the local paper last year. -John Sheerin

 

 

This was one of my favorite "reptile" discussions of all time! In between shows for the kids, this 80 year old lady came up to me and started asking me questions. She had never seen an alligator, let alone most any other reptile up close. The conversation lasted about 20 minutes, and as her husband repeatedly told her that they had to go home... she didn't want to, and told him to "hush for a minute, We're talking". She walked in scared and confused, thinking that most reptiles were good for nothing, and left in love with a 6 foot alligator. -Loren Morales

 

 

Here is a little girl that wanted to hold Midnight our Black & White Tegu. This was a great show and everyone got involved! -Roaming Reptiles

 

 

Pythons are loved and kept Globally.! Country: Pakistan -Hamza Hussain Simjee

 

 

A group of Police officers we did a show for, for "National Night Out Against Crime" -Beanie Villerman

 

 

Reptiles + Education = Success -Beanie Villerman

 

My Reptiles are my Life. I wanted to share a side of reptiles that most luckily have not experienced. I have had reptiles my entire life, even as a child my parents would take me to the pet store week after week for me to purchase food with my allowance money for my animals. I would catch snakes and frogs when I was young until I was able to save enough money and gain enough knowledge to purchase more advanced animals from the pet stores. I always had the sense of responsibility for caring for my animals since the day I found my first one and I always had the support of my parents to back me up.

When I turned 13 I sadly lost my Father. Being an only child mean I had to step up and work harder at home and harder to support my reptile collection. I did everything I could from mowing lawns to washing cars in my neighborhood. When I 15 I got my workers permit and began working as much as I could while going though highschool. I was working full time by junior year. I lost my mother to a very short battle with cancer, she passed the day I graduated High school. I was forced into adult hood before I even started college. I was also now the only possible means of providing proper care for my reptiles. Losing your loved ones, especially your parents can do serious damage to an individual.

I am a fighter and I knew I had to support myself and my Reptiles, I choose to NEVER GIVE UP and continue to fight harder for what I wanted in life. I have a very strong connection with my reptiles and I was their only way to thrive. Working though college, being on my own, buying a house, and marrying my beautiful wife showed me that giving up in NEVER an option! Not for me, Not for my Dream, and NOT FOR MY REPTILES! My animals keep me moving forward in the worst times of my life. I have kept many species of reptiles and amphibians From my child hood until now. I proud to say am living my dream of breeding Reticulated pythons and supporting a large collection on my own. My reptiles have always been there for me and I have always been here for them. I wanted to share this short story because REPTILES CAN SAVE LIVES  -Shane Castello

 

 

Here is one of our shows that we did for a school here in town. We reached over 700 children and teachers. -Roaming Reptiles

 

If you have a story to share be sure to a become a fan of GRAIN on Facebook! Then share your story and share GRAIN with your friends! We are here to spread education and respect for all types of pets loved who we devote our time, resources, and lives to caring for.

 

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USARK Legal Action Against FWS Constrictor Rule

Approximately three months have passed since U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) took the unprecedented action of adding four constricting snakes to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act. Never before have animals widely held by the American public been listed. Originally FWS suggested the addition of all of Boa, Python and Eunectes. The list was whittled down to nine constricting snakes after the highly controversial “Risk Assessment” was published by Gordon Rodda and Robert Reed of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The final rule was announced in January 2012. USARK was able to block five of the nine proposed snakes by taking dynamic action against the rule. Never before had a Injurious Wildlife listing been challenged or blocked. Nevertheless, the final rule was enacted March 23rd 2012 with four constricting snakes.

U.S. Geological Survey

From the very beginning of this process USARK has been very careful to lay the groundwork and establish the public record that would afford us the ability to take legal action if necessary. Scientists from all over the world have criticized the sloppy and speculative work used by FWS to justify Lacey Act listing. In 2010 USARK filed a formal challenge of the USGS “Risk Assessment” under the Information Quality Act. In 2011 Georgetown Economic Services (GES) published “The Modern Reptile Industry”, an independent and comprehensive economic survey that included the impact that a Lacey Act listing was likely to have on legitimate business interests. The GES report demonstrated how the listing could impact as much as $104 million in trade annually. USARK built a clear and convincing case that FWS was potentially arbitrary and capricious in their zeal for a listing.

USARK and its counsel are carefully reviewing their legal options for addressing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s unwarranted listing of four constricting snakes, including Burmese pythons, on the Lacey Act’s Injurious Wildlife list. We believe the listing decision was precipitous, unsupported by the best available science, and poor policy. USARK is also concerned about the five other species of snakes, including Boa constrictor, that FWS has deferred addressing.

High quality captive bred Burmese python morphs

We believe FWS has exceeded its Lacey Act authority in terms of the breadth of the restrictions placed on the four listed species. The organization will continue to develop its legal theories and develop a plan for addressing the industry’s legitimate concerns with the proposed and final rules.

These legal maneuvers are not inexpensive, and will be even more costly if it is necessary to file a federal lawsuit. Our goal is to raise $250,000 between now and the end of the year. This is only a start. If we file a lawsuit it could easily require twice that amount. FWS doesn’t think that the Reptile Nation is capable of fielding a serious legal challenge to their arbitrary Lacey Act listing. They don’t think we can raise the money. We have waited until our legal team gave us the word that they felt we have a strong and clear course of action to follow. Now is the time for the Reptile Nation to stand up and take back what is ours!

Please use PayPal to donation@usark.org. Please put “LAW” in the comment or note area; or you can mail a check to: USARK, PO Box 279, Grandy, NC 27939. Please put “LAW” in the memo line.

donate

 

This blog has been shared directly from http://usark.org/action-alert/usark-legal-action-against-fws-constrictor-rule/

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) is a registered non-profit organization duly incorporated in the state of North Carolina. We are advocates for the practice of Herpetoculture; the non-traditional agricultural pursuit of farming high quality captive bred reptiles & amphibians for conservation projects, zoos, museums, research facilities, education, entertainment and pets. We are dedicated to conservation through captive propagation, and espouse the ideal of, “Preserving Reptiles & Amphibians for Our Future”. We endorse a ‘Keepers Code of Ethics’. Our members are veterinarians, researchers, breeders, manufacturers, feed producers, hobbyists and pet owners; collectively known as the Reptile Nation. Our membership accounts for annual trade revenues of $1.4 billion in the US. USARK is the only advocate of the conservation, responsible ownership and trade of reptiles and amphibians as a #1 priority with no conflicting interests.

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Ewe Rock! at the Youth Expo 2012

 

This weekend thousands of families braved the storm and enjoyed the annual Youth Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds. We love this event because first of all its FREE fun for the whole family... how many places can you still find that? We also love it's focus on education this year adding a college fair for hundreds of anxious highschoolers planning their next steps.

 

 

Of course guests went crazy for our interactive reptile booth where we displayed just a glimpes into all of the exotic animals on display at The Reptile Zoo. With Ball Pythons, Ratsnakes, and Bearded Dragons there were plenty of reasons why our booth was filled to the brim the whole weekend, but the crowd favorite had to be the huge African Spur Thigh Tortoises.

 

 

 

If the live animals weren't enough guests got a kick out of our big Dino friend. Taking a second to pose for photos while he showed his toothy grin.

 

 

 

Some of our visitors were so enchanted by the reptiles they could barely stand to leave, but we let them know that not only are they cool to look at reptiles actually make great low maintenance pets, which definitely perked them up.

 

 

Visitors even recieved a special offer for admission to the continually expanding zoo. They were excited and shocked to learn about our most recent additions like Darthvader the American Alligator, TWINKIE the World's Largest Snake, 5 California Native Rattlesnakes and don't forget Thelma & Louise the Two-Headed Snake.

 

 

Did you miss out? The Prehistoric Adventures team can bring the traveling Reptile Zoo to a town near you creating a one of a kind display for all types of events. These Prehistoric Pets can even come right to your house or school for a Jurassic Party presentation. Check out the details online at www.JurassicParties.com and www.PrehistoricAdventures.com

 

 

 

 

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Faces in Support of Reptiles

Hundreds of visitors enjoy The Reptile Zoo and all of it's creatures each week, over 16,000 reptile presentations completed by Jurassic Parties alone, and thousands of reptiles are responsibly kept as pets across the United States, but somehow these people, these faces, are overlooked and demonized for their support of reptiles. At The Reptile Zoo we are ready to put a face to these supporters of the reptile community and use these faces to garner support for the protection of these species.

On The Reptile Zoo's Twitter and Facebook pages we will be posting a daily image of people from every walk and stage of life who have benefited from their interaction with these beautiful creatures. Below are just a sampling of the photos to come. We invite you to join our mission by posting your pictures, sharing your stories, and spreading the support for reptiles and their keepers.

To view all of the photos please visit www.Facebook.com/TheReptileZoo


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Meet Davey: The newest scaly member of Jurassic Parties

Meet Davey aka Davey Jones, a yearling American Alligator, the newest resident at The Reptile Zoo and soon to be the most exciting scaly member of Jurassic Parties. That's right, starting next week Davey will be available as an addition to your Jurassic Party event! These events are specifically tailored to provide even more educational tidbits than our standard birthday and can be customized to meet the California State Science Content Standards for your age group.

 

With the addition of Davey we will also be covering the topic of restricted pet ownership in California and why it is important for the safety of the environment and owners to follow these rules. Below is an excerpt from the California Code of Regulations, Title 14 which lists these animals.

§671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals.

(a) It shall be unlawful to import, transport, or possess live animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under permit issued by the department...

(b) The commission has determined the below listed animals are not normally domesticated in this state. Mammals listed to prevent the depletion of wild populations and to provide for animal welfare are termed "welfare animals", and are designated by the letter "W". Those species listed because they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of the state or to public health or safety are termed "detrimental animals" and are designated by the letter "D"...

 

(7) Class Reptilia -Reptiles

(A) Order Crocodilia -Crocodiles, Caimans, Alligators and Gavials: All species (D).

 

 

Some of the other highlights from this list are all primates, marsupials, hedgehogs, ferrets, wolves, snapping turtles, vipers, and cobras. You might notice you can find some of these animals like American Alligators and Snapping Turtles at The Reptile Zoo. Wonder why? Through our partnership with Brockett's Film and Fauna, who are permitted to own these animals, The Reptile Zoo and Jurassic Partiesare can display these animals for educational use. We have been preparing for this partnership for a couple years, actually it's one of the main reasons we opened The Reptile Zoo in the first place. The creation of The Reptile Zoo as a donation driven educational zoo separates these permitted species from the retail pet store environment of Prehistoric Pets.

 

But enough about boring laws. Want to hear more about Davey? .... I knew you would. Davey as we mentioned before is an American Alligator with the potential to grow up to six hundred pounds! But for now, he is a slender 2 year old who enjoys swimming with his goldfish friends/food in his specially designed home at The Reptile Zoo. Since arriving at the zoo last week he has been training for his big Jurassic Parties debut, with daily handling sessions both with his handler and trainer. Although most gators at his size can be quite fiesty and flighty Davey is calm, cool, and collected. Have you fallen in love yet? If so be sure to stop by The Reptile Zoo to meet our little buddy or better yet book your Educational Event with Jurassic Parties and he will come to you!

 

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Python Ban: The Discussion

In several of the documents relating to the addition of several species of snakes to the Lacey Act the assumption is made that during the periods of public comment very few responses were received, and those that were received were carefully considered.

Question 12:  What prompted the reopening of the public comment period of the proposed rule to list the Indian (Burmese) python and eight other large constrictor snakes as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act?

Answer:   In response to a number of requests from stakeholders, the Service granted an additional 30 days for the public comment period on the proposed rule for a total of 90 days.  

Question 13:  How many public comments did the Service receive? 

Answer:  The Service received about 56,500 comments for the proposed rule.  The public can view these comments at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015.  A final determination was made after a comprehensive review of the scientific data and the information contained in comments submitted by the public and peer reviewers

 

http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2012/pdfs/FoursnakesQsAs11612.pdf

 

Here at Prehistoric Pets we believe it is the duty of those in office to protect the rights and wishes of their constituents and the duty of those constituents to get involved and carry an open discussion with their elected officials.

This is why we have stayed constantly involved in the discussion emailing, calling, and scheduling meetings with our representatives. Today’s blog includes our letter to Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer explaining our concerns for this legislation. We did not receive the response we had wished for, but at least our voice was heard.

Senator Boxer / Senator Feinstein ,

 

My name is Jay Brewer. I live and work in Orange County, Ca., actually for the past 22 years I have run and operated my small business, Prehistoric Pets.  I emailed you a bit early about setting up a one on one meeting regarding S 373. Below I have included some information on myself, my business, and my concerns for this bill. If we don't get a chance to meet I would appreciate if you could at least understand my stance on this subject and why this cause is so important.

When I opened Prehistoric Pets, as Pet Country, in 1988 the store focused on providing quality pets and service to our customers. As our stock of exotic reptiles grew we had the opportunity to expand first into a 5000 sq ft location in 1992, and then expand again in 2000. Our inventive set-up was the first of its kind, which I designed to create a zoo-like atmosphere with the philosophy“build it and they will come.” This philosophy proved correct and new customers started visiting the store to observe exotic reptiles, which are not displayed at even the largest of zoos.

This collection of specialized and rare reptiles also set PrehistoricPets.com apart, as a large online provider of quality reptiles. Demand for a new variety of high-end reptiles led to an increase of specialty breeding projects behind the scenes at our Fountain Valley location. These online sales, exported around the world and throughout the US, quickly became a very successful and large source of income for Prehistoric Pets. In 1995, we also began promoting our party business, Jurassic Parties, which proved very successful. Through Jurassic Parties we were able to educate the public at both schools and private events about reptiles using hands-on interaction with reptiles these children would have otherwise only read about in science books , to this day we have provided over 12,000 of these educational presentations across Southern California. These two factors combined allowed the 2000 expansion to its current size of 10,000 sq ft, with the most zoo-like experience over doubling our location size and producing a banner year in 2005.

As owner I have used difficult economic periods as a time to find a new niches Prehistoric Pets could settle into. From a 2000 gallon pond in the middle of the store, filled with Giant tropical fish to the displays exhibiting thousands of exotic reptiles of all sizes, Prehistoric Pets is a zoo. Over the summer we converted half of our location into a paid admission zoo, The Reptile Zoo, that serves as an educational center involving hands-on interaction with various types of reptiles. The support from customers, especially mothers, has been overwhelming. They love The Reptile Zoo and Prehistoric Pets as a destination for low price high benefit education entertainment for their children.

Unfortunately S 373 threatens to obliterate my passion and the business I have put my heart and soul into for the past 25 years also destroy an education resource for thousands of families throughout Orange and Los Angeles County without solving the problem it seeks to correct in South Florida.

As I had mentioned before along with running our 10,000 sq ft reptile zoo we are also one of the premiere breeders of Reticulated Pythons , honestly, in the world. We focus in the breeding of specialty "morphs", or color and pattern variations, that are completely impossible in the wild. With 25 years of this specialized breeding I have grown quite a stock in captive bred animals, making it extremely rare to ever import an animal from the wild.

Here in California we enjoy rather wonderful weather, but the majority of the United States is not as privileged with average temperatures in the high sixties. But even in such a warm weather I must spend thousands of dollars monthly to provide specialized heating for every single one of my snakes. You must understand, especially in these tough economic times, I would love to cut costs and stop paying for this heat but without it my animals would quickly catch colds, yes they can catch colds just like people, and sadly die. The same is true for breeders and reptile owners across the country that spend millions of dollars every year to provide specialized environments and care for our animals that would not be able to survive without our support. The reason it would be so impossible for these animals to survive even with balmy day temperatures of 60-80 degrees here in Southern California is their absolute reliance on surrounding temperatures. Snakes are cold blooded, which means unlike humans they cannot raise their own body temperature. Though they might enjoy the warm temperatures during the day with the extreme drop in temperature each night these snakes wouldn’t be able to bring their body temperature back up to a safe level, resulting in as I mentioned before severe colds and a quick death.

Another issue I see with this bill is regarding the actual "invasive threat" of these pythons and boas. Boas have lived in Mexico from the beginning of time and have not crossed the border or been cause for worry regarding infestation or destruction of wildlife... and even Burmese pythons have been in the Everglades for the last twenty something years without moving far north let alone the entire US. When you look at any study of the natural habitat of these pythons then follow the latitude line to where it crosses the United States you will find highest range these pythons can survive crosses into only a small section of Florida and nowhere else in the United States. If there is a problem in Florida it should be a state level with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, as it currently is.

Thank you so much for hearing me out. I look forward to the opportunity to talk with you face to face in the very near future.

How was your voice heard? Have you contacted your representatives? Were you able to schedule an appointment to meet with one of their staff? What was their response?

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Same old JFW.......but something NEW!!

 

Ok, Jurassic Fact of the Week time...the knowledge of champions, people.

So, I have said a little bit about becoming more teacher-friendly in our presentations.....well, we are going above and beyond!  I have the SoCal Public Schools Science Content Guidelines, and I personally have gone over each grade and created a list of necessary "add-ins" for the presenters to use in their talks.

If we book an educational presentation, I will email the teacher to find out what grade, and if there are any topics that need to be focused on.  That way, there are no worries as to the educational quality of the event that you book for your students. 

PLUS, I have been working on our own group of "worksheets" for each grade, that we can give to the teacher for after the presentation.  They are everything from coloring sheets of the reptiles we bring, all the way up to in depth anatomy of a certain animal.  We sometimes even do college or university presentations...so we are getting prepared for everything from kindergarten on up!

We know children will take these home to their parents...its just another way of getting our name out there to make more of your events unforgettable!  We have SO many people come in and say they had NO idea about this place...so we are going full steam with the effort to get the word out!  

We are Prehistoric Pets Inc.......hear us ROAR!

I am very excited about this...I love education...and to be able to say that we are fully in-line with your lesson plans is a great thing!  So, teachers of SoCal:  call, email, or stop by Prehistoric Pets today to book your JURASSIC PARTY!!  Its alllllways a hit with the kids!

 

<3............................Thalia

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ATTENTION: SoCal Teachers!


Our presenters are now equipped with the Core Curriculum Guidelines for California Public Schools! We have K through 12 Content Standards from the California State Board of Education, and are incorporating them into our presentations...especially for Classroom and Assembly packages.



We now have the ability to determine what needs to be covered for each age group and grade, so that the information correlates to what the teachers require. Also, at booking, you can even enter extra information for what you would like to be focused on, and what group it will be for. We will do our very best to cater to whatever style and focus that you need.



We take great pride in our work and enjoy the educational aspect a great deal. It's an incredible experience for children to be able to touch, hold, and learn about reptiles in their OWN classrooms. They learn that these creatures can be friendly and beautiful in this type of setting, but we always stress the caution to take when not accompanied by a professional.



So, if you are an educator, looking for an awesome presentation for your "earth sciences month"....or even your "reptile week"....look no further!! Your students will learn a ton of cool facts, maybe get over some fears, and definitely be talking about this one for years to come.




BOOK TODAY!

(jurassic parties tab at top of page for more info)


<3......................Thalia
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Illumination Foundation


One of the many reasons that I love my job is the rewarding experiences with children. This past Wednesday, we donated a presentation to a very special group of kids.....




The Illumination Foundation is a recreational program, providing activities and educational opportunities to families affected by the economy. “IF” is a transitional program that helps families go from living on the streets into motels, and finally into homes of their own. They book programs like ours all the time, and for most of the children it is their first experience with these activities. The kids that enjoyed this donated presentation had never seen animals like this before.




I was greeted by Lua Levale, a frontrunner in “IF”, and he was very excited for the kids to see and touch everything. He mentioned that last week they went bowling, and most of the children had never bowled before. I was so excited to show and teach them about animals that they may have only heard about. Thanks Lua, for inviting us, and for giving your time to create memorable and educational experiences for these awesome kids.



It was a blast getting to know everyone, and I am so happy that I got to share this experience with them. They are wonderful families and I wish them the best of luck in life.




<3……………………Thalia
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