Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The `Lazy Man's Pet' Gathering Shows Growth in Popularity of Reptiles as Domestic Companions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The `Lazy Man's Pet' Gathering Shows Growth in Popularity of Reptiles as Domestic Companions

Article excerpt

People seeking affection probably shouldn't turn to snakes, turtles or iguanas.

But reptiles are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. pet population for other attributes, which aficionados say make them ideal domestic companions.

They require little care, do not bark and can provide great natural pest control by eating all the flies, roaches and small rodents that come near them.

"Reptiles are the animal of the '90s," said Wayne Hill, director of the National Reptile Breeders Expo, which filled an Orlando hotel over the weekend with thousands of creepers and crawlers and the people who love them.

"They're the lazy man's pet. You can feed them and go away for a week, and as long as they have water, they're fine. They don't make any noise to disturb the neighbors in the next apartmenti," Hill said.

More than 6,000 people attended the convention, which has more than tripled in size since its inception in 1990.h

Hill estimated U.S. sales of pet reptiles have grown by 15 percent to 20 percent annually in recent years. …

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