In response to Mark's first post; I have been to the Rainforest Reptile Refuge, and although the animals seemed to be fairly well cared for (I know how hard it would be to run a refuge), but she seemed to be in the wrong place. She was talking about how vicious iguanas are (and I know they can be; but this kind of seems to be the wrong place to be spouting your mouth), and had articles about reptile attacks. I know these can be useful to warn people from spur-of-the-moment, it-would-be-cool-to-own-a-6-foot-lizard type thing, and it is good that she is trying to inform potential herp owners. Another thing that took place while I was there, (and this is before I had gotten my first snake, and I was considering getting a ball python) my mom asked her whether or not it would be a good choice. The refuge owner started going on about how nippy they are, how they carry diseases and have eating problems (I know, wild-caught problems), and that instead of reaching 3-5 feet, like I had researched, they got 6+ feet (and of course my mom wanted to have a fairly small snake). So in conclusion, my hopes of getting that ball python were destroyed, my mom got a bit more freaked out from snakes, and although I love going to see the animals, I wish they had someone better suited to meet the public there.
PS- This was around 2000, and I eventually did get a snake. At the 2001 Spring TARAS show, Henry P had a little honduran milksnake for $50, and he turned out to be the perfect starter snake. Hahaa, my poor mom; I walked into the show with the intention of looking around and maaaaaaaaybe getting something (even though she hadn't 100% approved of it yet), and walked out with this snakes. It didn't take her long to fall under the charm of Zip, my male hoduran milksnake, and now she tells everyone he's "cute". hahahahahah