Bringing exotic animals to the mountains, new business opens in Eastern Kentucky

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 5:37 PM EST
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A unique, new business had its grand opening in Letcher County Saturday.

L&B Reptiles offers Eastern Kentuckians a chance to see, own, and interact with a variety of exotic animals.

“When I was young, I loved reptiles and I love animals. We had to travel all over to see different kinds of reptiles,” Owner Lennie Holbrook said. “I’ve had my daughter, she showed interest in reptiles, so we decided to get some and see what happens.”

Holbrook said the process has been anything but boring.

“It can be challenging trying to get the humidity right, the temperatures right, kind of mimic the environment of each individual animal,” he said. “It’s been a learning curve to do that for about a year now.”

Some of the animals they sell include turtles, snakes, lizards, and Holbrook adds they hope to add a sloth in the near future.

Officials with Letcher Tourism said they were happy to see them set up shop.

“They go to ballgames and setup and give kids a chance to see those animals, play with those animals,” Director Clay Christian said. “In a way they normally wouldn’t get to, which is really nice”

Christian said it gives the region something new and exciting.

“That just means that businesses are growing, that the area is growing,” he said. “People are wanting to do new things here and open new things here. Bring new business and new travelers to the area.”

Holbrook adds they want to include a zoo-like experience without the hassle.

“We offer things just a little bit different than an ordinary pet shop,” he said. “We offer that experience, so, if you want to hold something, I’ll let you hold it. If you want to play with something, we can do that.”

Business owners said it is all done with a single goal in mind.

“Just education, that’s my biggest goal. Everyone says a snake is a bad reptile and things like that,” Holbrook said. “I’m trying to change the mindset of what that animal could be.”

Holbrook said, depending on success and the number of animals they can sell, they may need to expand into a bigger building.

Through the week, L&B Reptiles is open Tuesday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On weekends, they are open Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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