'Really a wonderful feeling': Wildlife festival returns to Regina

The Regina Wildlife Festival came slithering and hopping into the Queen City this weekend, bringing reptilian and furry friends to the Viterra International Trade Centre.

Jason Clevett is a wildlife festival promoter and said the event consists of a variety of unique animals.

"A lot of the animals we have aren't something you're going to see, like an alligator in Saskatchewan,” said Clevett. “So you know to see the reaction and responses it is really a wonderful feeling.”

One of the goals of the festival is to raise awareness of what kind of pets are right for a family.

"Our goal is for people to kind of really think about before they bring home a snake or another any kind of pet really," he said. "They really do their homework and make sure it's the right fit for their family."

Giving children access to these types of animals can also inspire the next generation

"In the future (children) are going to be biologists and are going to be herpetologists or study wildlife,” said Clevett. “(To) be that kid that gets her first snake and at 15 has their entire life and then is you know, a future educator, that is really special to know the impact that we're making.”

Other animal handlers like Mike Sheppard are hoping to teach families about respecting the boundaries of other animals

"Animals are often misunderstood and if we teach people a little more about them, maybe a lot more respect for them and appreciate them,” said Sheppard.

With Sunday being Mothers Day, many mothers faced their fears being around reptiles.

Jillian Meyers is one mother who had to face her fears while her son James was touching a snake.

"We had lots of fun, he (James) is loving seeing all the animals,” said Meyers. “He was really excited about seeing the snakes which I'm not a fan of. But he got to touch one that was pretty cool.”

Sunday was the last chance to see the animals in Regina but the wildlife festival will continue next weekend at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.