Thursday, October 6, 2022

Meet, greet, and even adopt: Get your reptile fix at ‘Rocking Reptile Party’

The event, held next week, supports the go-to rescue group for reptiles in the area.

WILMINGTON—Since the closing of the Cape Fear Serpentarium, it’s been harder for reptile fans to get their fix. An event next week aims to help with that.

The “Rocking Reptile Party” hosted at the Juggling Gypsy will feature a range of reptiles large and small, including everything from a large Burmese python to palm-sized geckos. The event, held by the Fresh Start Rescue, will also feature bearded dragons, an Argentine black and white tegus, and “Bella” the tortoise.

Reptile owners are also invited to bring their pets, as well.

Fresh Start Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit that was officially founded last year, although husband and wife team Mike and Nicole Spencer have been rescuing animals and assisting with relocations for several years. Fresh Start rescues and rehomes reptiles in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender County – and sometimes beyond.

Events help provide shelter, food and veterinary care for reptiles, some of which are rescued when law enforcement and animal control divisions can’t handle the animals.

“We are completely a volunteer run rescue and a nonprofit,” Spencer said. “We actually lose money saving animals. For instance, animal control sent us to take in an unwanted ball python from someone which turned out to have severe burns from a lack of knowledge of how to properly care for one. We had to immediately take it to Paws and Claws, the official veterinarian for our rescue, to have it treated.”

Spencer said although veterinarians give Fresh Start a break for service costs, the nonprofit still has to come up with costs associated with rescues out of pocket.

Fresh Start adopts out many of its rescued reptiles, after making sure they’re going to good homes. Those interested in adopting will go through an application process that includes a home visit, in part to make sure that new owners know what they are getting into.

The event will also feature the 90s grunge and rock cover band Just Yesterday, the Poor Piggy’s food truck, and photoshoots with the reptiles.

The “Rocking Reptile Party” will be held at the Juggling Gypsy Café, located at 1612 Castle Street in downtown Wilmington, on Saturday, July 28, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 and proceeds benefit Fresh Start Rescue.

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