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March 21, 2008

Native reptiles, amphibians on display at 2008 Palmetto Sportsmen’s classic

Want to hold a snake or pet a lizard? Then head on over to the 2008 Palmetto Sportsmen’ Classic, which will feature an exhibit of native reptiles and amphibians.
           
The 24th Annual Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia March 28-30. Doors will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 28; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 29; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30. The reptiles and amphibians exhibit will be in the Ruff Building.
           
For more information on the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, call the S.C. Department of Natural Resources office at (803) 734-4008 in Columbia.
           
"The display will feature examples of native snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and salamanders," said Roark Ferguson or "Big Snake Daddy." "We will be talking about their natural history and conservation, and visitors will be able to get up close and personal, to hold or touch a snake or other animal. It will be both fun and educational."
           
Bennett said the exhibit is made possible by a number of groups and agencies who will be represented there: Charleston Turtle and Tortoise Society; Alligator Adventure of North Myrtle Beach; South Carolina Aquarium; Cypress Gardens; Greenville Zoo; Riverbanks Zoo; Carolina Wildlife Cares; Savannah River Ecological Lab; DNR; and private individuals who have volunteered to help.
           
South Carolina Wildlife magazine’s Wildlife Shop will have its "Poisonous Snakes of South Carolina" poster as well as a new snake T-shirt at the 2008 Classic. Continuing the reptilian theme, visitors may learn all they want to know about snakes and other reptiles by attending one of the seminars provided by Roark Ferguson or Okefenokee Joe in the Moore Building.
           
More than 300 exhibitors will be on site with the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment for show and sale.
           
Admission to the 2006 Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is $6, and parking is $1. Seniors 60 and over get in for $5 while children 10 and under are admitted free. Visitors bringing five canned food items for Harvest Hope Food Bank receive $1 off admission. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 24; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Carolina First Bank, WIS-TV, WCOS Radio, SportsTalkSC, Professional Printers, Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine, National Striped Bass Association, The State newspaper, South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts and the City of Columbia.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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