Fans of the slippery and slimy descended on Evraz place today to feast their eyes on rare creatures. 

The Wildlife Festival gives people the chance to get up close and personal with birds of prey, reptiles and invertebrates, including alligators, raptors and tarantulas. 

The festival is designed to raise awareness and funds for organizations such as the Canadian Raptor Conservancy and Muskoka Wildlife Centre. But those involved will tell you it's also to expose people to animals they might be curious about.

"They want to face their fears or they've never touched a snake before and they really want to try it. And you see how amazing it actually is and how they can really be," said Kyle Lawrie, wildlife educator.

Granite the python 

wildlife festival regina jan 9 2015

Twelve-year-old Gavin Fletcher puts his fears aside and touches Granite the python at the Wildlife Festival in Regina on Jan. 9, 2015. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Lawrie was showing off a python named Granite at the show, a breed of snake that reaches 8 metres long on average.

He said the snakes aren't much of a threat to humans, so long as there's always a second person in the room when handling one, just in case.

Pythons kill their prey by constricting it with their body, but they don't use the technique for self-defence.

Gavin Fletcher, 12, was able to pet Granite. He said he was worried it would be his last day on earth.

"Like wrap around my hand and, like, murder me," Fletcher said. "But it didn't. And then when I touched it, it felt really cool." 

The show continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Banner Hall at Evraz Place. 

With files from CBC's Dean Gutheil