Get up close and per­sonal with a range of rep­tiles

Central and North Burnett Times - - 2015 MONTO SHOW -

WHEN Luke Cheyne heads through Monto, it is usu­ally on a “rep­tile catch­ing mission”, but next fort­night he is putting on the brakes to show­case the world’s largest col­lec­tion of ven­omous snakes to the town’s lo­cals.

Croc­o­diles, tur­tles, frogs and lizards from Luke’s Rep­tile King­dom will all make the trip up from the Gold Coast for the Monto Show, but it is his “big pit of the world’s most ven­omous snakes” that is sure to have on­look­ers gasp­ing.

“I’ve been col­lect­ing rep­tiles since I was five years old and now I have over 500 rep­tiles and we just launched a rep­tile park with more than 50 species,” Luke said.

“The Monto Show will be a great chance for peo­ple to get up and close with lizards, snakes, frogs, tur­tles and croc­o­diles.

“Peo­ple can hold baby croc­o­diles and get their pho­tos taken, get snakes wrapped around them and have a photo with lizards all over them.”

While Luke said he has never been to the Monto Show, the North Bur­nett area was cer­tainly on his radar.

“It’s a bit of a mecca for rep­tiles out that way. There are lots and lots of snakes,” he said.

“But it’s not un­til peo­ple try and up­set the nat­u­ral bal­ance of things and go af­ter snakes that they get bit­ten.”

De­spite work­ing with rep­tiles all his life, Luke has never been bit­ten.

“I’ve been lucky, and al­ways wear protective cloth­ing,” he said. “At the show we will also give out vi­tal life­sav­ing ad­vice and try and dis­suade neg­a­tive opin­ions about rep­tiles.”

PHOTO: ROD COLE

GREAT SNAPS: Luke's Rep­tile King­dom will pro­vide a great photo op­por­tu­nity at the Monto Show this year.

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