Leaping Lizards Reptile Experience is Southern Utah’s Reptile Rescue
St. George has its very own reptile rescue run by a passionate mother who loves all things scaly and shelled.
Lacey McIntyre started out as an administrator over at Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and then moved to education and outreach. She worked there for about five years and then left for her son, she said.
McIntyre had her own passion for reptiles, obviously, and very much brought that into her own life.
“The outreach coordinator before me was a man and he would take them (the reptiles) to schools and the little girls would you know, they would scream and they'd want to leave the room and he would let them,” McIntyre said. “And he'd be like, ‘Okay, well if you don't want to do this today go’ and I was like, ‘No, that's not how we do this’. I'm a female, I'm a girl and I can handle this snake and you can sit here, and you can watch it.”
Not only does McIntyre encourage little boys and girls to experience these unique creatures, but she also has a passion for educating them and their families on the dos and don’ts.
McIntyre shared that she had heard several kids tell her they would go home and let their parents know not kill the snakes in the yard.
“One thing I think is that, you know, reptiles are underrated animals, and people don't respect them and don't care for them the way they deserve to be cared for,” McIntyre said. “I love what I do because I can take these animals that kids usually wouldn't get to see or people, adults, anybody wouldn't get to see up close or wouldn't want to see up close. And they have a whole new respect for them."
Some even walk away liking these animals!
The rescue just sort of happened as McIntyre would have someone call up explaining that they could no longer keep the animal. Some were from kids going away to college, and some were rescued from just being found out an about in Southern Utah.
McIntyre provides a shelter for these scaly creatures but also has a business called Leaping Lizards Reptile Experience which serves schools, birthday parties, and anyone who wants a reptile (or a few) at their function.
She has roughly 30 reptiles on her property including tegus, skinks, water turtles, tortoises, king snakes, pythons, and more.
The McIntyre family just finished preparing the hibernation enclosures for all the tortoises and other animals that will go to sleep this winter. For them, it’s a snooze fest but not all their creatures do so.
Spring is the best time to see all these creatures since they will all be waking up and ready to get out of their slumber.
To contact Leaping Lizards Reptile Experience, visit https://leapinglizardsreptileexperience.com/
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Gallery Credit: Elle Cabrera