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Reptile expo slithers into town

Misty Thompson of Danville cast a covetous eye at the 5-foot carpet python looped around Casey Allan's neck.

When Allan offered to let Thompson hold the big snake, Thompson agreed and soon was cradling the greenish reptile, almost as long as she was tall.

"I've always wanted one. But I've kind of been getting him used to the idea first," she said, nodding at her husband, Nick.

If you wanted to buy a snake — or just get used to one — Sunday's Reptile Expo at Lexington Center was the place to be.

About a dozen vendors were on hand, offering all kinds of snakes, from the pedestrian, such as corn snakes, to the exotic, as in a $2,000 blood python.

Also available were books and equipment for raising snakes or feeding them, including supplies of mealworms and crickets from LeRoy Henderson's cricket farm in Lancaster.

And there was a petting zoo with a blue parrot, a huge Tegu lizard from Australia, a Burmese python and a huge African spur thigh tortoise that would have trouble sitting on top of the average coffee table.

David Absher, the event sponsor, said it was the second Reptile Expo he's held in Lexington. The next one, scheduled for May, will be even bigger, he said.

Back at Casey Allan's vendor table, Angela Mitchell of Nicholasville was trying to get up enough courage to lay a finger on Allan's carpet python.

"I'm terrified of snakes, but I'd just like to touch one," she said. "I'm willing to try to overcome my fear, but I don't know ..."

Mitchell's husband, Jeff, said he used to own snakes before the two of them got together.

"Then I had to decide between the snakes and her," he said. "She won."