Exotic animal lovers will soon have a place to go enjoy their favorite reptiles.
On Monday, July 16, Reptile Ron Animal Presentations will celebrate its Clovis grand opening. The public is invited to join the fun from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the new location just behind Fat Jack’s, at 601 W. Shaw Ave., Suite B, in Clovis.
Animals will be on display and available for handling. For a small donation, visitors can have their picture taken with one. Those who already own a reptile at home will have an opportunity to purchase feeders and other goodies for their cold-blooded friends, and those wanting to learn more about reptile ownership can have their exotic animal questions answered by the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Always a popular draw whenever they give presentations in the community, the Clovis business is owned by locals Ron and Amy Guill. The duo, along with other family members and close friends, put on the interactive and educational shows which often include a master falconer plus a stunning variety of amphibians, snakes, insects, a monitor, geckos, a tegu, bearded dragon, tortoise, tarantulas, parrots, and some non-reptile types like guinea pigs and a Flemish giant rabbit.
The longest reptile in the shop is King George, a 27 year-old, 15-foot long Burmese python.
“We have a good time and that’s what it’s all about,” Ron Guill said. “We visit schools, libraries, assemblies, parties and go to a lot of events. All the animals we take are non-venomous, have been socialized and are used to being touched and handled. This is a happy place to come to and to learn… and see the animals. We enjoy anything having to do with kids, to see the ‘Oooh!’ turn into ‘This is my favorite.'”
Presentations typically last 45 minutes and include up to 15 different animals. Each animal is removed from its carrier, one at a time, and displayed while a team member gives an educational talk and answers questions. Members of the audience, adults and children alike, have the opportunity to touch or hold the animal and feel comfortable with it.
“The majority of our animals are rescues,” explained Amy Guill. “They needed a good home.”
Reptile Ron stresses the importance of knowing all you can about any pet and its needs so you can make a fully informed decision before adopting.
Proceeds from grant opening day will go to family friend, Alyssa Ekmalian, 27, a court reporter from Clovis, who was diagnosed with Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Ekmalian is raising money to fly to Moscow, Russia, in August for a groundbreaking surgery called Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT). The chemotherapy-based treatment has been shown to halt the progression of the disease, but is not yet available in the U.S.
“HSCT involves removing your stem cells and harvesting them while you do a round of chemo to kill off your immune system then gives you your stem cells back to rebuild a new, healthy immune system,” Ekmalian said. “It’s basically a reboot for your body. There are cases where the damage that was done to the body can actually begin to repair itself.
“With the treatment being in another country, insurance doesn’t cover anything. I have to fundraise for the cost, which is $50,000 for the treatment alone. That’s without travel expenses. I’ve raised just about $30,000 in a month and a half!”
To contact Reptile Ron Animal Presentations, visit www.facebook.com/ReptileRon, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 559-970-4881.