Full circle moment at Paducah’s Exotic Pet Expo

PADUCAH, Kent. (KBSI) – “He is 13 feet long, 16 years old and weighs around 70 pounds,” said Andy Thornton, co-owner of Pandora’s Exotic Reptiles.

He says his Burmese Python Alf, who was with him at Sunday’s Exotic Pet Expo at the Paducah Convention Center, is quite docile and friendly.  

“You can put him in front of a whole kindergarten class of kids, and he doesn’t panic any more than if he’s in front of just one adult,” he said.

Thornton said one of the misconceptions with snakes like Alf is that there is a big difference between wild snakes and domesticated snakes. 

“It’s like going to the dog park and petting a golden retriever versus going out in a field and petting a coyote,” he said.

And Thornton said he has encountered a handful of people who are afraid of these creatures. 

“I’ve had people that were so scared of snakes, they wouldn’t even come into our facility at all, and now she’s one of the vendors out here breeding her own snakes.” 

Thornton is referring to Donna Jordan, co-owner of Gigi’s Serpents. 

“It’s exciting for me to see somebody get over their fear of snakes,” Jordan said. “I think a lot of it is because I can share my story with people on how I did get over my fear of snakes, and it helps them understand that snakes are not the creepy crawly things that they’ve always been told.” 

So whether you’re into snakes, birds, rodents, or…kangaroos… the exotic pet expo has something for just about everyone, and there is no need to be afraid of the animals. 

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