So what got you into Reptiles?

As with many of you, since birth basically. Have always loved reptiles (and most other animals) and caught and sometimes kept various reptiles growing up.
But I’d have to say that reptile forums are what made me addicted.
In 2007 after years of not having any kind of reptiles, I decided I wanted another. Locally someone was selling baby red eared sliders which are the most adorable things ever, so initially I was thinking of getting one but I researched care for several months and decided that they were too hard for me. But by that point I really did want a reptile and started to consider what else I could do. That is when two bits of information I had came together and pointed me to corn snakes. Years ago I watched a show on Animal Planet that went into breeds of dogs, cats and all kinds of other animals and rated them on ease of care and all kinds of other pluses and minuses and it had covered corn snakes, back when there was about a dozen morphs, ha! And I had been very interested but live mice were a no go for me, which I thought barred most types of snakes for me. We’d gotten a Petsmart about a year before this quest started and I was surprised when checking out the reptile section to read on the snake cages that they recommended frozen thawed foods for their snakes, as I’d never heard of it. I remembered both those things and started looking into corn snakes and joined my first ever forum, for corn snakes and then learned about all the different morphs, which made me rapidly want more than my first one and I found the genetics fascinating and wanted to breed, and then I was seeing other people post their other types of snakes and lizards, ones that I’d never before heard of, which got me looking into those… And here we are now with a dedicated reptile room and a lot of different reptiles…


When I was perhaps 5?, my mom and my older brother and I were walking home from the Five & Dime (google it, kids) when we found a small turtle. While my mom was inside the house trying to identify it w Time-Life’s Reptiles book (see above), my brother was not sharing… as I begged him to let me play, he finally shoved it in my face. Mom came running outside to say it was a snapping turtle only to find it dangling from my forehead! Think vaccination.

I then started pestering a local boy, who was likely in middle school but seemed 35 to me, as he would circle the local ponds catching frogs, turtles, snakes. By age 9, we had moved to CT, had a pond of our own, and neighbors w a canoe. I’d paddle around the neighborhood ponds filling the boat w whatever was catchable that day. Some I’d keep for a day or two, some til the end of summer. Most went right back to where I found them.

Volunteer work at the CT Audubon Society sealed my fate. In HS I worked at a Boy Scout camp a few summers. One of my “chores” was removing the copperheads from campsites. When campers were gone for the summer, I’d walk them deep into the hills to release them. One summer, that haul counted 14 copperheads. Gorgeous snakes, all!

Fast forward to today, and we have a few reptiles in displays and a 12 yr old who loves to go hiking w a keen eye to spotting reptiles and amphibians of her own. Two memorable finds included a soft shell turtle digging a nest to lay her eggs and a garter snake mating ball! It made me smile as she grabbed a couple hands full of the squirmy buggers.

So, hopefully, that will be HER “got me into reptiles” story as well!

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Someone said “when you handle a reptile you forget about everything else and are in the moment”. I wanted that,. I’m in the business of other people’s problems. I needed a challenge and a distraction, something that could give as much back as I put into it…I cleaned up some snake droppings today and was impressed by the size. I can’t say that’s what I intended but something like that.


I have loved reptiles since I could remember. Instead of wanting to watch cartoons when I was 2, I wanted to watch Animal Planet and everything on it. My role model growing up was Steve Irwin, and seeing him with snakes especially would fascinate me. I would go fishing a lot with my dad, and whenever we would go to Florida I would catch anoles. The only snakes I ever seen when I was there were cotton mouths, and I knew not to bother them even as a child. I even managed to catch a couple geckos at night. I would also get bait fish and summon hordes of birds, and made friends with a few different herons/egrets. One even remembered my bucket whenever I would visit each year for a few years and would steal fish when I turned my back.

My mother finally caved when I was 13 and let me get a snake even though she is terrified of them because she loves seeing my eyes light up when interacting with them. Another reason she said yes is because my cousin broke the neck of a baby Chinese water dragon I had gotten when we weren’t in the room. I haven’t seen said cousin since she rushed out of the house after having done that. I had the baby lizard die in my hands and I think seeing me that sad is really why my mom gave in to my begging. So, technically my first reptile was a Chinese water dragon, but not even for a whole week.

I have always had good connections with animals too. I remember when we went to a pet store and they had a big Savannah monitor there. Apparently he hated everyone and constantly tried attacking people through his cage, but when he seen me he was calm and curious. It might have been because I was never a hyper child and I have always been small and good at keeping calm. I have even befriended llamas when I first met them, of which is hard to do since llamas are generally filled with anger. I have an appreciation for all animals and the animals that people hate the most are generally those that I like the most, so snakes were always something I enjoyed. I even volunteered at the Indianapolis Zoo when I was in highschool. It is a program that around a thousand kids signed up for, but only 100 get selected based on interviews. So I was lucky to get a spot.


I was about to start up a new saltwater tank after my parents let my fish die and threw away all the fish stuff >.<, when I came across reptile videos. I thought it would be a neat adventure to try a new type of animal. I liked the idea of being able to handle it and it looked relaxing to just chill with the snake. I did the logistics and found out a ball python would cost about the same to set up and would be easier to maintain than fish. I’m getting my first reptile soon despite my parents being completely disgusted LOL.

Isn’t that the feeling we all feel about reptiles?

That is a amazing life/reptile story.

As many of you know, Kai is my first ever snake, and actually first reptile. Personally, I feel that my passion for reptiles started long before I asked for one when I was six, but the first memory I have of snakes/reptiles is going to Beaver Lake in Syracuse, New York. And on Halloween they would have a reptile show and I remember looking forward to that day every year because there’s a big girl albino boa that would come and it just impressed me and just captivated me. But also there’s been so many other things that have influenced me towards just exotics in general, like going to Cornell University for their bug day, and now I’m moving to Florida three years ago going out and seeing a Anoles and snakes in the yard all the time. My parents are fearful of reptiles, especially snakes. So asking for a pet snake since I’ve been around six years old to when I got Kai when I was 16. So that is a long time to ask, but that didn’t snuff out my passion for snakes and reptiles. Eventually when I’m older thinking about gaining more and more knowledge about BI’s and maybe acquiring a pair because of Kai’s spinal kink. But that is probably a long way off anyway.

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When I was a child in N. Calcium. My dad would bring home snakes I’m his lunch pail for me. Once it was a huge gopher snake. We kept them for a few days and let them go. I would catch toads, hired toads, small relish snakes that ate bugs…lizards.
A couple years ago I started watching snake videos on YouTube. Nerd, bhb, snake discovery, Olympic reptiles, balls to you…and dove back into snakes, spiders, amphibians, lizards…just like old times

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Brian Barczyk

Back in the days when kids were kicked out of the house and told not to come back until the street lights came on, I was about 6. I found 5 tiny little snakes under a piece of rusty metal. I carried them around all day in my pocket showed my friends and even scared the hell out of some older boys who were bullies. When I got home I show my dad who freaked out. it turned out that they were little copperheads. I think he killed them and kept the bodies “in case the doctor needed them” I kept saying they did not bite me but mom and dad were freaked and kept looking for bites and swelling and generally making a stink. I was just really mad that my new pets were dead. After that dad got me a Audubon Reptiles Field Guide and showed me how to identify the things I found. He told me it was my fault my little snakes were dead at that I should have left them alone. He said I could bring home reptiles if they were not venomous but to leave the “bad ones” alone. I found a lot of the animals in that book over the years and started figuring out how to keep them as pets when I was about 10. It was hard to find food for them and I had to make or improvise all my own supplies. I had to let a lot of animals go because I just couldn’t take care of them and did not want them to die. I always tried to release them back where I found them. First long term pets were red eared sliders. I made a habitat out of a kiddie pool and my brother, sister and I caught grasshoppers to feed them. One of them laid a clutch of eggs that all hatched. That was too cool and I was hooked forever.


Tiny dinosaurs. I just went out to check on these guys cuz we had a freak hail storm that messed up their roof. All good. if you don’t think they evolved from dinos it is because you have never seen what happens when you throw them a mouse! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Ever since I had a pet gecko when I was a kid, is when I truly started to fall in love with reptiles, i would always try and catch the coolst lizards and snakes I could find, annoy anoles and let them bite the base of my ears so I could feel like I had earings. (they really dont let go) Thats probably where it all started.

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+1 tiny Dinos. I’ve made one too many life decisions off Jurassic Park.

My GF grew up with snakes and has a male Mojave. I was spending a ton of time coding with him on my shoulders, and I ended up watching herp YouTube videos for about 14 hours of round-trip car riding while trying to decide whether to pull the trigger.

All the snake people were way too happy and excitable to ignore. Fast-forward 15 snakes later…


This is also same story as mine. Usually what I keep beautiful, most people don’t…

15 posts were split to a new topic: First pet reptile idea

I’ve always been a big animal lover, but from the time I was very young, I remember particularly loving little critters - frogs, lizards, snakes, bugs, etc. I loved finding any sort of creature like that. I would flip over logs, rocks, and hope there was something hiding under it.

I got my first reptile when I was 10 or 11. My class had read ‘Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing’ and the main character in that book gets a pet turtle. I was obsessed with getting one of my own. My parents finally relented and I got a red eared slider. I used to take him out into the yard and make a big mud puddle for him. He was actually a pretty grumpy turtle and would often try to bite me, but I still loved that little guy. I didn’t even know they had distinct personalities until I got a second RES a few years later who was super sweet. Unfortunately my original turtle didn’t like her and bit the end of her tail off and the webbing between her toes.

Anyway, many years later, I finally got my true reptile love, corn snakes. My mom is terrified of snakes and would never have let me have one as a kid. I now have a variety of corn snakes and a crested gecko.


I had this baby red eared slider when I was real young. My mom got him for me. He didn’t have a basking platform or a light. I was young I had no idea what he needed. And I’ve always felt a lot of guilt about the way he passed and what he went through. So guilt maybe is what got me into reptiles. I do my best now to help any animal I can and in that I think you build a little admiration for some of the qualities animals possess. So we have a few personal reptilian family members we love And respect

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So my friend timmy Had a Bearded Dragon named Spike wich was a very nice Dragon and now he has a MIlk snake also I always liked Retiles and catching retiles so now I have my own Lepoard Gecko and probably going to get a Milk Snake next month and no more for a while like a long time after that but I would like to breed Snakes as a SIDE job when Im older not as a full time thing.

I can really relate to that. Work as a social worker and days are filled with people who have problems and hope I solve them. I’m not complaining about it, it’s a good job and it feels good to help, but sometimes the world seems feels full of problems and drama. But at home being busy with the snakes it all feels light and relaxed. Even a giant poop makes me smile. When I talk to them they just look at me and do their thing…it’s so relaxing…even better them meditation.

It is not what got me into it. It was my son who was a total dino addict and wanted a reptile of his own as a pet for long. I at first said no because we already had two big aquariums and lack of space. On top of that I really liked them but thought keeping them was something for professionals. But after some time I promised that if the fish would one by one die and most where gone we would check for a reptile. When that one happened and we went for "orientation " to an reptile expo I was hooked. It was like entering paradise. Now our house is packed with reptiles. He adores the reptiles but I (almost) love them even more.