One Myth at a Time
Pet Product News’ 2017-2018 Best In-Store Experience Retailer of the Year winner uses
education and hands-on learning experiences to dispel customer misconceptions about reptiles.
JUNGLE BOB’S REPTILE WORLD AT A GLANCE
Location: 984 Middle Country Rd., Selden, NY 11784; 4130 Sunrise Hwy. Oakdale, NY 11769
Owner: Bob Smith
Employees: 7 full time, 5 part time
Years in business: 9 years
Average Square feet: 2,800
Products and services: Reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, feeders, full line of supplies, Jungle Bob line
of products, Jungle Bob’s Food Court, gifts, decorations, habitats, handling equipment, reptile boarding,
rescues, lectures, animal encounters
1. Bob Smith, owner of Jungle Bob’s Reptile World
2. The Jungle Bob’s philosophy aims to dispel common myths about reptiles and invertebrates.
Giving kids and parents hands-on experience with the animals is one way the retailer does that.
3. The Jungle Bob’s Food Court offers an assortment of delicacies for pets.
4. An inventory of every necessity needed for keeping herps can be found on the store floor.
5. Jungle Bob’s features a diverse selection of reptiles, invertebrates and amphibians.
“Jungle” Bob Smith is a man of passion. A reptile enthusiast since childhood, Smith’s
long-time fervor for these creatures is infused with a zeal for sharing his fascination for the
“unloved, unusual and unknown.” In this way, the owner of Jungle Bob’s Reptile World is
eager to quell the creepy fallacies of crawly critters, one customer—child, parent or senior
citizen—at a time.
“I started my educational journey when my sons, Dylan and Tyler, were youngsters,
participating in show-and-tell classroom presentations,” Smith says. “Parents brought dogs,
guinea pigs or hamsters to share, and I’d show up with an alligator.”
Even in those days, Smith yearned to dispel the misconceptions of reptiles as slimy, poi-
sonous or aggressive brutes. Show-and-tell visits set this aspiration in motion.
At the time, Smith’s career in computers, overseeing the setup and servicing of systems
in New York’s financial markets and beyond, was prospering. But reptiles remained a
BEST IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
YEAR of the
BY LIZE TT BOND