Do you remember your first pet? Was it fluffy or scaly? Were you the kid with seven dogs or did your mom only allow pet rocks in her house?
Nick Crawford’s first pet was of a reptilian persuasion: his grandma gave him a pet snake when he was four.
(Sidenote: when my son turned four, a friend of mine bought him a hamster and I was mildly irked about it. I don’t want to project onto Nick’s family life but who gives a four-year-old a pet? Grandmas, that’s who. Grandmas can do whatever they want. Consider yourself warned.)
Apparently a snake was an excellent present for Nick — his childhood serpent spawned a deep care and interest in reptiles and their well-being. Years later, Nick is opening Lost Realms Pets, a reptile superstore, zoo, and educational facility, the result of years of planning.
As Nick explains, “I’ve had the pleasure of always having a reliable source for both reptile information as well as healthy animals to spend all of my money on. I strolled into A Reptile Room, owned by Patric Fournier, around age 11. Fast forward about nine years later and now I’m living my dream of working at A Reptile Room.
One of our – Pat and my – daily routines was to talk about our dream of building a retail reptile store that focused on naturalistic husbandry and education. The time eventually came when my partner and I were ready to take the plunge and build the dream. Now here we are about to see fruition nine years later.”
According to Nick, Lost Realms is not just a pet store, “but rather a destination. We are a one-of-a-kind interactive facility. Our very own Reptile Ron preforms the reptile and amphibian presentations. Lost Realms Pets will also introduce “Safari Encounters” late May 2017. Safari Encounters will offer interactive experiences with animals such as sloths, several cats, wallaby, porcupines, and more!”
Basically, if Lost Realms Pets was a lizard, it’d be Godzilla. It’s huge! Most importantly, Nick says, “Our goal is to provide the most natural environment for our animals and educate all of those willing to learn. It is our duty to do our best by these animals, teach others how wonderful they are, and how great they can be in captivity when cared for properly.”
Of course, seeing is believing. If you’re interested in snakes, sloths, or salamanders, mark your calendar. Lost Realms Pets is having its Grand Opening this Saturday, April 8. Naturally, you’ll find reptiles there, but there will also be a bounce house, food trucks, and face painting. Also, CK from B95 will play music while you enter to win prizes, raffles, and giveaways.
Since this is a private zoo as well as a pet store, you might even experience a rare photo opportunity with some of the animals, including a sloth. A SLOTH!
If you thought things couldn’t get any better than a sloth, hold onto your hat. Lost Realms Pets is offering free admission to the zoo to the first 50 people. They’ll also be donating 10% of their profits on Saturday to Valley Children’s Hospital. It’s an opportunity to meet a sloth, see some awesome animals, and give back to the community: a trifecta of FresYes awesomeness.
Grand Opening Details
When: Saturday, April 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 8059 N. Cedar Avenue, Fresno CA 93720
How much: Zoo admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children until 8 p.m.
Grand Opening Event Page on Facebook
Lost Realms Pets on Facebook
Lost Realms Pets Website
[all photos courtesy of Nick Crawford, used with permission]
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