Forget the cute cats or playful puppies, Graeme Hannah is all about the reptiles.

Hannah, with wife Donna, will showcase several species of reptiles at this weekend's Bay of Plenty Pet and Animal Expo in Tauranga.

People will be able to see and touch a blue tongue lizard, bearded dragon, water dragon, geckos, turtles and others.

A little tortoise is one of many reptiles which will be on display this weekend. Photo/Andrew Warner
A little tortoise is one of many reptiles which will be on display this weekend. Photo/Andrew Warner

For the Hannahs, it's a chance to prove that reptiles can make for wonderful pets too.

Advertisement

"There are a lot of kids or adults that think 'I didn't realise you could have a lizard as a pet', but you can," Graeme said.

The couple has taken part in the expo before in Auckland and Hamilton but this is the first time it has come to Tauranga.

"It's just a good thing to show people in the Bay of Plenty what's available besides cats and dogs," Graeme said.

Together the couple runs Reptile World in Katikati. They breed all sorts of reptiles and ship them all over New Zealand.

"I'm a backyard hobbyist, but my hobby is a bit more extreme than what most people go for," Graeme said.

"I also really like birds. I've been into reptiles the last 15 to 16 years. You could show me cats or dogs or whatever, but show me a bird or reptile and you have me for life."

Graeme said it was nothing for him to put a bearded dragon on his shoulder and walk the main street of Katikati. Some people loved the reptile interaction, others not so much.

Donna said children especially enjoyed reptiles and the couple regularly took their creatures out to kindergartens, play centres and schools. All the reptiles being taken to the expo were used to these trips and used to people, she said.

"It's really the kids that really drive it. They are not cat people or dog people, they are the ones that like the look of snakes," she said.

Bay of Plenty Pet and Animal Expo's Peter Clark said the expo provided pet lovers with access to the best products, services and advice for their pets all under one roof.

The expo would feature creatures great and small including alpacas, birds, cats, dogs, fish, goats, guinea pigs, ponies, rabbits and more.

Clark said the expo was perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

Details

What:

Bay of Plenty Pet and Animal Expo

Where:

ASB Arena Baypark, Mount Maunganui

When:

Saturday and Sunday from 10am

Cost:

$10 per adult, $5 child, $24 family pass, $7 senior, under 5 years free

What you need to know:

Do not bring your own pets!