Spiders, snakes, lizards and many other reptiles and amphibians are often portrayed negatively in the media – but they are still popular pets and even children regard them with interest and fascination. They are a good alternative to our usual furry friends - especially for allergy sufferers. That’s why JBL has been supporting the Terrarienkreis Kiel for many years at the annual reptile exhibition in the Tierpark Gettorf in North Germany. Many thousands of visitors came to this exhibition and the entire team was on-site for 9 days without losing their good humour or sense of fun once. That way the visitors overcame their fears and the hobbyists swapped stories about keeping the various species. . From the youngsters to the adults - everyone had shining eyes after their visit at the exhibition. That’s why we fully support the club and the exhibition and would like to take you on a small expedition through the 9 exhibition days. This is where members give the animals names and talk about their emotional impressions of an event, which was really organised with love.
Here you can find the original report written by Philipp Kirchhoff and his Terrarienkreis Kiel team (TTK):
Good Friday – beginning of the Easter exhibition at the Animal Park Gettorf (Tierpark Gettorf)
At about 9 a.m. the annual, well-organised chaos that are the last preparations for the exhibition at the Tierpark Gettorf, got underway. Our new tablecloths are now in use for the first time and the general effect, with the new coat of paint and the new stickers on the terrariums, is a fresh uniform look.
When everything was ready our pets moved into the exhibition aquariums. Some also brought their one-room apartments along from home (e.g. the tarantulas). In the Tropical Hall our boas Odin and Freya and the royal pythons Jules and Glupsch are ready to be admired. And Mr. Potter, our Madagascar ground boa, is there too, of course.
Along with tarantulas, the Australian giant mantis Gottfried, the peacock day gecko Franzl and two water dragons we also have the Mississippi map turtle Erwin, river cooters Pepe and Kralle and musk turtles to show you.
Once again this year the ocellated spinytail will be present in the Paradise Hall. Other animals: desert iguanas, Sudan plated lizards, Glauert's monitor Buffy, Honduran milk snakes and miscellaneous insects from the Kiel Heuschreckenshop.
The popular bearded dragons are there for young and old to admire. This time there are four of them.
This year the Terrarienkreis Kiel has made the decision to display some of its regular exhibition animals elsewhere. This will ensure that even the most faithful visitors to the exhibition experience some variety. The blue-tongued skinks Walter and Dörte are doing some job-sharing this year because of their “couple trouble”. Walter is starting and will be replaced by Dörte in the middle of the week.
The first small surprise of this year's exhibition happened in the Tropical Hall: our young Australian giant mantis suddenly decided to shed its skin. During the afternoon our green tree python moved into the night room, where this nocturnal animal could be observed unravelled and active.
This year you can also observe the forest cockroaches at work in the night room. One of the sand boas took its head out of the sand to show what a pretty animal it was (once you got a chance to see it). There you can also find our crested gecko Freckel, our giant gecko Moby, the leopard geckos, a Malaysian black scorpion, which fluoresces when illuminated, a parachute gecko and our whip spider Fiesi.
With a few hours delay Don Ashtray (gray-banded kingsnake ) was also moved into the Paradise Hall. Just a few days ago it had shed its skin and fed. We wanted to be sure that it was ready for the exhibition marathon. At first we allowed our visitors to get close up to our corn snakes – but very carefully - otherwise it would be too stressful for the animals from day one. We started to test how much our two tarantulas Laura (Mexican flame knee tarantula) and Isolde (Mexican red knee tarantula) – both on display in the Paradise Hall - could be taken out in order to help as many visitors as possible to come to terms with their spider phobia. Repeated progress has been made in recent years and some visitors come back every year to regain contact with these beautiful and interesting animals.
Next to Laura and Isolde is Hushabye, the greenbottle blue tarantula, whose living web is very impressive. It looks like something straight from a Tolkien film. This year we have an infogram poster showing how a tarantula molts. We noticed on the first exhibition day that a lot of people didn’t know that spiders molt at all, let alone all their lives.
We are looking forward to having lots of nice chats with our visitors, and we’ve already had a lot of these today, despite the typically poor north German weather. We also hope that we can continue to overcome people’s preconceptions when it comes to reptiles, spiders and insects this year.