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Local man teaches kids about reptiles
For 51 % of us -- this is our top terror reptiles..snakes in particular.
Tim Reno says the terror stems from misunderstanding.
In fourth grade -- he had a life altering experience.
"First time I ran through a Banana Spider web, I decided I was gonna start learning what was what in the woods."
At ten, he became a "self taught" Herpetologist.
"I was never the biggest or smallest kid, but I was the bravest kid."
Decades later -- this is his thriving business."
Nature talks, parties, programs for children.
"Parents already have that fear, so if I can get the kids at a younger age to not to be afraid of 'em they'll teach their kids not to be afraid of 'em."
Ellie says she *used* to be afraid.
"When I was little, three, maybe four."
But at a sophisticated -- and educated -- six ...she's now more fascinated than fearful.
"Probably wouldn't touch it, probably back away."
That's just what Reno tells kids to do when they encounter a wild reptile.
Spartacus is an African Spur Thigh Tortoise.
"This one was a rescue, so we're assuming he's around eight."
Many of Renos' reptiles are rescues. Florida Fish and Wildlife officers just brought him this baby gator.
His owner wasn't properly licensed.
Reno says most reptile buys are impulse purchases.
"We talk people out of them because they're going to live to be older than most of your kids."
Spartucus could live a century, Many others twenty years or more.
"Max is my favorite cause to me, his face, looks like a T-rex."
The Bearded Dragons are crowd favorites. Hungry ones that have a thing for hair bows.
"He says these things won't hurt you because these things, they just like to stick to your hair."
This fella's my favorite. His people are my people for Reno and this crew -- it's mission accomplished.
"All these animals are not scary and they're actually beautiful in their own way."