SHOPPERS got up close and personal with tarantulas, scorpions and pythons at a pet store’s first reptile party.

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Saturday’s event at The Pet Shop, in March, was so popular that plans are already being made to host another reptile party next Easter.

Matt Willis, who helped organise the event, was thrilled with the turnout.

He said: “It was definitely a success. Children who used to be scared of the animals were able to get over their fears and get their photos taken with them. Some even stroked and touched the creatures.”

Matt believes occasions like these can help tackle people’s phobias about certain species.

He said: “It was good to be able to challenge people’s preconceptions of what animals are like and an event like this may inspire children to work with animals in the future.

“It will certainly teach them to respect the creatures.”

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