Slinky fun at reptile showcase
TURTLES, geckoes, rare snakes and lace monitors were slithering, skulking and swimming around their enclosures at Ipswich's third annual Reptile Festival on Saturday.
The event drew enthusiasts and stallholders from interstate, and eager Ipswich families were also out in force.
Visitors were able to pat freshwater turtles, pose for a picture with an olive python, and check out the hundreds of other reptiles on display.
Organiser Joy Kuligowski, of family-run and Ipswich-based Scales and Tails Australia magazine, said it was the most successful festival yet.
"It's the biggest and best so far, plus it's the first reptile festival or exhibition in Queensland that has had reptiles for sale," Ms Kuligowski said.
"We've had an excellent turnout, and we're extremely happy with the response from Ipswich families.
"Interstate guests and stallholders were rapt with the atmosphere - they were saying that Ipswich people were so friendly and enthusiastic."
Ms Kuligowksi said the festival was nationally recognised, with stallholders hailing from far-north Queensland to Sydney, and speakers including the Northern Territory's Dr Bedford and New South Wales' Neville Burns, as well as home-grown conservation hero Bob Irwin.
Reptile hobbyists Peter and Milli Krauss travelled from their Mareeba hometown to show off their lace monitors and snakes.
"We travelled a fair way, but it's worth it. It's great to chat with everyone else here," Mr Krauss said.
"We're very proud of our monitors. The Bell's Form is a colour morph - it's not just a juvenile phase, they'll look like that their whole lives.
"They're not for sale, we'll keep them.
"We've got a big pen out the back of our house," the passionate reptile breeder said.
The festival was organised by Scales and Tails Australia to commemorate their third year of publication.
Ms Kuligowski said planning for next year's festival had already begun.
It will feature international speakers and a gala dinner.