Reptile Expo visits Bowling Green, WKU for first time

Chasey Jessie, 9, holds a Kenyan Sand Boa from Mark and Jennifer Huntley’s booth at the Kentucky Reptile Expo on Saturday at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center.

Taylor Harrison

Things got a little wild in Bowling Green this Saturday.

The Kentucky Reptile Expo came to Bowling Green for the first time and set up shop at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center.

The Expo was set up like a marketplace., with vendors responsible for their own animals and merchandise. The vendors all specialize and sell different animals — anything from snakes, lizards, spiders, guinea pigs, frogs, and more.

One vendor in particular, Jennifer Huntley, specializes in Kenyan sand boas. Huntley and her partner had many snakes to look at, both male and female. The snakes were still small, so many of the expo’s guests held them.

Huntley said she got into snake vending because she was “terrified of snakes and we wanted to overcome it.”

And Huntley is definitely not afraid of snakes now. She was so comfortable with them she even had one relaxing in her hoodie pocket to keep him warm. She knows a lot about snakes and blogs about them at

Jarrod and Jaime Greer promoted the event, as they are in charge of the Kentucky Reptile Expo.

“I live it,” Jarrod Greer said.

He said he has been in the reptile business since he was 16 years old, and most of the people at the expo are his friends so he knew who to call when setting up the expo.

The Kentucky Reptile Expo has been going on for 10 years, and Jarrod has been “at the steering wheel” for about six of those years.

While most of the reptiles at the expo were not owned by the Greers, they made it possible for the vendors to sell their animals.

The next Kentucky Reptile Expo will take place in Corbin on March 5.

Another snake vendor, Scott Braunstein, had a wide variety of snakes available. He is one of the owners of House of Reptiles, LLC. He takes his snakes on the road to events, festivals, parties, schools, and more.

He compared a fear of snakes to a fear of roller coasters. Once you have done it once, you’ll want to do it again, Braunstein said. He first got into the reptile business because “Mom and Dad hated it, so I kept doing it.”

Phat Phibs was also a represented company at the Expo. Jeff Kennedy and Ella Mosgrove, the owners, both sported bearded dragons hanging on their shoulders.

“We started taking stuff we had as pets and making it available for everyone else,” Kennedy said.

Mosgrove, who had a leatherback bearded dragon with her, highly recommended bearded dragons as pets because she said they are docile and each one has a different personality. For people who have allergies and cannot have mammals as pets, she said bearded dragons were a great alternative.

Big Yeck’s Gecks was another vendor. Kristy Yeckering, one of the owners, had many rodents and lizards for sale. Yeckering said that even though some rodents are used to feed reptiles, people also buy them as pets. She usually sells snakes as well, but they were out at the time.

Yeckering said that previously the expo stayed in one place. Only recently did they decide to travel to different cities.