SNAKES, turtles, goannas and other Australian reptiles are constant companions of Werrington reptile-keeper Fran Grant.
"I've got some pythons and venomous snakes too," Ms Grant said.
"They're fascinating; I've been collecting creatures like them since I was a little kid living near the bush."
She said she even caught some funnel web spiders, but she was not afraid.
"They're no more dangerous than men," Ms Grant said.
She is a member of the Hawkesbury Herpetological Society and will display some of her pets at the annual Reptile Expo at Penrith Panthers on March 2.
She said anyone interested in keeping exotic, even dangerous, animals had to treat them with respect and have confidence in their ability to handle them.
"Some handlers say their reptiles love them; they don't," Ms Grant said.
"People should remember that we develop affection for them, they develop tolerance for us."
She said she and other members of the Herpetological Society wanted to educate the public about Australian wildlife, particularly snakes.