Leigh Park reptile superstore celebrates first anniversary as excited children come face-to-face with snakes, lizards, and a tortoise

FAMILIES took a walk on the wild side as they met giant snakes, brightly coloured lizards, and a tortoise called Winston at a reptile shop’s first birthday celebration.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 1:57 pm

The Aquatic Reptile Superstore in Greywell Road, Leigh Park, marked its one year anniversary with live animal pettings and fun in store.

Stephen Day, the shop’s manager, estimates that hundreds of people came to the shop for the party on Saturday, September 18.

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The Aquatic Reptile Superstore in Greywell Road, Leigh Park celebrating their fist birthday. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The Southsea resident said: ‘We had some animals in that people could hold.

‘It was good to be able to do something back for the community.

‘We had really positive feedback, everyone was happy and really enjoyed it. Really well received.’

Balloons adorned the inside of the shop as visitors were welcomed in to meet the range of reptiles and aquatic animals.

Amy, 10 and Libby, 13, hanging out with Winston. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Mother of seven Wendy New attended the event with her children.

She said: ‘Libby and Amy enjoyed seeing all of the reptiles on the day.

‘Amy’s favourite part was being able to touch the large tortoise and Libby’s was when we purchased another four stick insects from the aquarium,as we already purchased one from there a few months ago, they named it Betty, which has now laid eggs.

‘Also my other two daughters Rio and Elle enjoyed the day holding the snake they had there.’

Staff supervisor Carmel Landey showing off some pets. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Wendy, who lives near the aquarium, runs the nearby New’s Creations shop.

She added: ‘My children are always popping into the aquarium and feeding the fish for 20p, they love it’.

The store offers a wide range of reptiles such as bearded dragons, leopard geckos, snakes, water dragons, chameleons, crested geckos, turtles, and tortoises, as well as tropical, marine, and cold-water fish.

Carmel Landey gets cosy with a pet. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Manager Stephen joined the team in March 2020, ahead of the Aquatic Reptile Superstore’s official opening on September 16.

He added: ‘We’re classed as essential so we were able to open all the way through.

‘It hasn’t been a bad year, it’s been a good year, although it hasn’t been amazing.’

Plans for a new store in Gosport, set to open on December 1, were also announced at the event as part of a competition.

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The Aquatic Reptile Superstore. Picture: Sam Stephenson

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