Morgantown hosts exotic pet expo

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Morgantown, W.Va. – An exotic pet expo was held in at the Holiday Inn and featured mostly reptiles like snakes, lizards, and turtles.

One of the animals on display and for sale.

The expo also featured a 10-pound rabbit and was an opportunity for vendors of exotic animals to display their collections and possibly even sell them. Families and people from all walks of life gathered to see, and in some cases, touch the animals. George Diaz, one of the vendors said he travelled from Pittsburgh to put his animals on display.

A look at the 10-pound rabbit.

“People are getting into the snakes, the lizards, the turtles, a little more so than dogs and cats anymore because you can’t get allergic to them, they really can’t hurt you,” Diaz said. “They’re kind of something fascinating, something from a different continent, a different place. A lot of people, they like dinosaurs and they see the lizards and it kind of reminds them of that.”

Diaz holding a boa constrictor.

Diaz said he owns Off the Hook Exotic Pets in Pittsburgh and described it as one of the wildest places in the city. He said his store sells a wide variety of exotic pets like amphibians, reptiles, fish, and even macaws.

The expo, Diaz said is relatively new and has been going on for over a year. He said he attends many as a chance to grow the interest in reptiles and exotic animals. Diaz said the industry is booming and that he has been in it from the bottom floor when his fascination with reptiles started as a kid.

“I’m a lifer,” Diaz said. “I’ve been doing this all my life, ever since I was a kid. 10 years ago we did venomous snake rescue after that we did out of home pets, we would take care of their tanks and now we own this retail store and we do all the reptile shows.”

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