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A small snake pokes his head out to greet guests at the York County Reptile Show on Sunday, July 7. Tina Locurto, York Dispatch

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Parker Terrato didn't always like reptiles. 

It wasn't until they attended the Mid-Atlantic Reptile Expo in Carlisle that they held their first snake ⁠— a ball python. 

"Reptile expos helped me get over my fear," said Terrato, of Shippensburg, Cumberland County. "I actually just held a tarantula even though I was terrified."

Overcoming their fear, Terrato now breeds small snakes and geckos as part of their breeding business, Motley Morphs, which was founded this year.

Terrato attended this year's York County Reptile Show on Sunday, July 7, joining more than 200 other attendees itching to observe scaly lizards, buy slithering snakes and pet turtles at the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

Jason Kenton and his father, Larry, have been hosting reptile expos for 20 years. 

"It's nice, you get to become friends with people, you see families come up, you see people try to get over their fears," Kenton said. "It's rewarding, but it's also a little stressful at times."

While other animals drew attention from attendees, it seemed snakes were the main attraction for guests both young and old.

One large boa constrictor made a splash with people, especially young children, who wanted the large serpent draped around their necks. 

A pen in the corner of the convention room contained a couple of turtles, a rabbit and two guinea pigs. It was filled with both young and older guests who wanted to be up close with the animals. 

More than 30 vendors from different parts of the United States set up booths showing off their selection of reptiles for sale.

While the majority of vendors advertised their wide selection of big and small snakes, others also sold turtles, lizards and geckos. 

Additionally, several other booths sold nonreptiles, such as pet rodents, frogs and tarantulas. Other vendors offered tanks, animal food, books and jewelry. 

"I always find something new," Terrato said. "I just love going to them."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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