Hagan said those not knowledgable about herptiles will get a good idea of what they are all about by attending the event. “The goal is to expose and introduce people to (herptiles), and not just what they would find in the local area, but also around the world,” he said. “You have the opportunity to see some animals up close that you probably wouldn’t have an opportunity to see otherwise.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! During the event, society members displayed pets from their personal collections of animals. For example, visitors saw a display of the shell of a 650-pound Galapagos turtle, as well as venomous snakes and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Education is important when it comes to these often-misunderstood animals, said society member Don Davern of Glendale, who brought several of his collection of about 15 reptiles and amphibians. “A lot of people have an unrealistic fear of snakes,” he said. “Here they can learn more about snakes, and that’s good for people, especially young people.” San Gabriel resident and exhibit contributor Tom Hagan recalls how as a child he was always told to stay away from snakes. Now, he is a reptile and amphibian fan, he said. “I decided I wanted to have some sort of a pet, but I wanted something out of the ordinary, something more than just a pet – a project,” he said. “I searched around and I settled on reptiles.” “At first I just wanted to keep them to look at, but I got interested in learning how to breed and raise them,” he said. “It’s that reward of knowing that you’re caring for something.” Morquecho’s creepy, crawling things were among dozens of the scaly creatures displayed at the exhibit, put on by the Southwestern Herpetologists Society – which has a San Gabriel Valley chapter to which Morquecho belongs – along with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The society provides information about and works toward the conservation of reptiles and amphibians, which are often referred to as “herptiles.” “It’s an event that happens only once a year and it’s free to everybody,” said Sophia Wong, a member of the society’s Los Angeles chapter.