A reptile shop is opening in Horsham on Saturday offering a range of lizards and snakes and specialist advice to pet owners.
Luke Russell-Smith, 22, has run his reptile business online for two years after completing a course in animal management.
Now he has opened Alpha Exotics in Park Place. Luke said: “I wanted to do marine biology before, but while I was at college I went into reptiles.
“I started off with a corn snake and then over two years have collected ones from around the country.
“There are not any reptile shops nearby. The closest is Brighton or East Grinstead and we are slap bang in the middle.”
As well as giving specialist advice to people caring for and buying reptile pets, Alpha Exotics is offering customers boarding service for when owners go on holiday and the opportunity to sex the animals.
Luke added: “There are different types that suit different people. There are some you can’t really handle because they will bite you and there are some that love to be handled.
“It depends on how much space you have got and what habitat you want to look at.
“It’s down to the individual.”
He is accompanied at the shop by two friends, Jemma Stewart and Jenna Kessell, both of whom have experience owning reptiles.
Jemma did the same course as Luke, but at a different college.
She said: “Every day is learning with reptiles. It’s the best thing about these animals.”
Luke is starting off selling tortoises, snakes and lizards, but depending on demand may expand his range to offer people invertebrates such as tarantulas.
To find out more about what Alpha Exotics offers go to www.alphaexotics.co.uk or call the shop on 01403 230301.