- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - From birds of prey and retrieving dogs to raptors and rattlesnakes, it’s that time of year when Charleston gets a little bit wild.

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition opens its three-day run on Friday at locations throughout the city.

The expo features everything from wildlife exhibits including a retriever competition and raptors from the Center for Birds of Prey to wildlife art including paintings and sculpture.

The expo has long served as the unofficial start to the spring tourist season in Charleston.

The first exposition was held back in 1983 when about 5,000 people attended. Now, organizers say it attracts more than 40,000 attendees a year and means at least $30 million a year to the local economy.

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