Posted by Gold FM on 04/10/2012
The natives came to town for GoldFest and hundreds of visitors and locals came to town to get 'up close and personal' with some of New Zealands unique lizard species as well.
The fascination and wonder at being able to touch the creatures on display was written all over the faces of the people of all ages who turned up for a 'gecko' at the geckos and skinks, outside the Waihi Memorial Hall. Some people came back several times for another look, and listened intently to what Malcolm and Paul (who travelled to Waihi for the day with the lizards) had to say. Others came down for a look after excited relatives or friends told them how interesting it was and many couldn't believe how 'velvety' the Duvaucel gecko (which is the biggest New Zealand gecko species) was to touch.
Malcolm and Paul were run off their feet with their 'show and tell' and the questions were flying thick and fast. They spent all day surrounded by eager people wanting to learn more about what makes New Zealand's lizards so unique.
The lizards didn't seem to mind all the attention and Malcolm said he spends so much time with the lizards many of them are happy to be held in a hand or allowed to walk up an arm.
For nearly everyone it was a first time encounter with New Zealand lizards and for others it was a 'golden opportunity' to see something they remembered from their childhood. It was love at first sight for most with hardly anybody declining the chance to stroke or hold a lizard.
It was awesome to have so many people saying a heartfelt thank you for the chance to have a 'Close Encounter of the Gecko and Skink Kind'. Many people said they travelled to Waihi to see the display.
Gold FM sponsors and organises the display each year during GoldFest and it's popularity is increasing. The Gold FM display will definitely be back next year for GoldFest.
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