What do Coachella and Zoo Med Expo have in common? They both have thousands of attendees.
Okay, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, mostly because Coachella is a big festival in the middle of the desert. But that aside, people were excited to once again head out of their homes to witness one of the very first animal expos in the Philippines in 2022, which was attended by over a thousand people on the first day.
The Zoo Med Expo, one of the participants of the International Gamefowl Festival, was held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. It was an expo that almost didn’t happen.
Talks about the expo began as early as 2021. Rumors started circulating about the first big reptile expo already being planned. Everyone was excited.
Zoo Med Philippines, in collaboration with International Gamefowl Festival and Deltaman, came up with a set of rules in compliance with alert level two guidelines.
For everyone’s safety, tickets were sold online.
During the first weeks of 2022, a new variant entered the country, raising the alert level to three. The event was pushed back to the end of February instead.
By then, severe cases started to decline, with a majority of the population only having mild symptoms.
A line formed outside the venue at 6:30 AM. People were eager to participate, what with more than a year having passed since they have gone to an exhibit. On- site tickets were also made available.
The organizers expected less than a thousand attendees on the first day, but over 1,500 people came before lunch, followed by another batch afterward.
The Zoo Med area at the back of the World Trade Center was not hard
to miss. An arch bearing their logo attracted those who wanted to take photos. Reptiles, Rabbits, and birds were either on their perches or in terrariums.
There were all types of care products on display for reptile guardians, from UV lights to other types of equipment.
Aside from products from Zoo Med, there were toys, food, and accessories from other providers.
Onlookers were curious about the Snakes, Rabbits, Iguanas, and birds. Some booths offered attendees a free photo session with an animal of their choice. While there was initial hesitation, the fear eventually dissipated, and everyone was all smiles at the camera.
One booth allowed exhibit-goers live out their anime dreams by letting them play the Goldfish game. It was harder than it looks.
It was an opportune moment for reptile guardians to interact with one another and share information. Reptile clubs, such as the Monitor and Iguana Club of the Philippines, were invited to talk about how one should take care of reptiles.
Seminars were held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and renowned veterinarian for exotic animals Dr. Nielsen Donato.