Reptile Awareness Day, which takes place annually on October 21, is an opportunity for reptile lovers everywhere to celebrate their unique pets. Unfortunately, many people assume the worst about reptiles without taking the time to learn the unique characteristics of each breed. This awareness campaign aims to change unfair stereotypes as well as spotlight several ways that people can support reptiles of all sizes, shapes, and skin textures.
What is a Reptile?
The general definition of a reptile is a cold-blooded vertebrae with dry and scaly skin. When giving birth, females lay eggs on dry land. The classification of reptiles falls into the following four categories:
- Crocodilia: Includes alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials in 23 different species
- Sphenodontia: Includes two species of tuataras native to New Zealand
- Squamada: The largest classification of reptiles includes snakes, lizards, and amphisbaenids from 7,900 different species
- Testudines: This includes 300 species of turtles and tortoises
Reptiles kept as pets typically come from the squamada or testudines classification.
How to Show Your Support for Reptiles Locally
Here are some things you can do to bring awareness to the plight of reptiles around the world:
- Donate your time or money to a reptile conservation program, such as the United States Association of Reptile Keepers.
- Stay on top of local and national laws that affect your right to keep a reptile as a pet.
- Spend Reptile Awareness Day or the weekend before or after it with your family at a local zoo. Be sure to spend extra time in the reptile exhibits and educate your children about each type of animal that you view together.
- Consider adopting a new reptile.
- Donate a subscription to a publication that predominantly features reptiles to a library, veterinary clinic, school, or college in your area.
We Love Reptiles Every Day
Cedar Pet Clinic serves a wide variety of pets at our Lake Elmo, Minnesota clinic. This includes several species of reptiles and other exotic pets. Reptile Awareness Day is a great opportunity to bring your scaly friend in for a check-up. Preventive and diagnostic care is just as important for reptiles as it is for dogs and cats. Enjoy this special day together and we’ll see you soon.
Photo Credit: treasurephoto | iStock