ASHEVILLE, NC – Bring your beautiful, scaly, colorful and talented pet reptile(s) to the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, for our annual Reptile Beauty Pageant being held Saturday July 18th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Center has expanded our categories to include all reptiles; snakes, lizards and turtles (non-venomous, please). All reptiles will compete for the Silver Scale Award, where owners stand before the audience and state why their reptile should be "crowned" the Best Reptile in show. Festivities include reptile and amphibian exhibits with the Southern Appalachian Herpetological Society, live animal programs and reptilian presentations, arts/crafts, fun reptile fact games and of course, the Reptile Beauty Pageant at 2:00pm to conclude the day.
Pre-registration is required for your pet reptile by calling (828) 298-5600, extension 305. Keith Mastin, the Education Curator, will give you dimensions for the educational display and any other requirements. Free admission is provided for all entrants. Regular admission rates apply to all others.
Although often unnoticed, reptiles play a major role as both prey and predators in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Aquatic turtles begin life as herbivores and then, become omnivores as they mature. They, in turn, become prey for raccoons and other small mammals. On land, lizards and skinks consume lots of insects, bird eggs and baby snakes. Snakes, in turn, are fearsome predators of small rodents in fields and around farms, while garter snakes, green snakes and northern brown snakes eat a lot of worms and insects. These snakes, in turn, are preyed upon by hawks, raccoons and foxes.
The Nature Center’s mission is to educate the public about the flora and fauna of Western North Carolina and foster an interest in the conservation of native plants and animals. The Nature Center serves 27 counties in western North Carolina and each year welcomes 100,000 visitors through its doors. It is operated by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department of the City of Asheville. The Friends of the WNC Nature Center was incorporated in 1974 and since that time, has privately raised over $1 million to enhance the programs and facilities of the Nature Center. The Friends has over 2500 members who support its activities on behalf of the Nature Center. For more information on the Friends, contact Sarah Oram, Director, at (828) 298-5600 ext. 308.