A reptile lover has made headlines for running the first reptile café in Malaysia.
Yap Ming Yang, 20, is the proud owner of Fangs by Dekõri, a pet-friendly café located on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The establishment is home to Yap’s snakes, lizards, tarantulas, frogs, bearded dragons and leopard geckos, with all of them residing in glass tanks.
“People only care about furry animals, cats, dogs, but people always leave out reptiles and snakes,” Yap told Reuters. “I hope [by] showing the public how interesting [the animals] are, we can cause them to have a better outlook on reptiles and less loved animals.”
With a love of reptiles that started from a young age, Yap made his reptile café dream come true after approaching Dekõri, a Malaysian dessert brand, which was open to franchising.
With free reign over the café’s interior design, Yap chose a fairly minimalist aesthetic with lots of earth tones. However, despite his desire to sell “edible insects,” Fangs’ menu adheres to Deköri’s typical options of different kinds of soup, pasta and baked goods.
“I enjoy the idea that I can let normal people come and hold the snake, something they usually wouldn’t do. I would like to give that experience to people outside of our community,” Yap told Vulcan.
His new café, which opened on Dec. 17, 2022, also serves as a haven for fellow reptile hobbyists to express their interests.
Yap hopes to host weekly meetups at his café one day to expand his local reptile-loving community.
“I would love for this hobby to grow,” he shared. “Not many people know that these reptiles are easy to keep, they’re friendly.”