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The one that started it all

Posted by Cynthia Chaplin at 2/4/2012 9:58:13 PM

I was a tomboy growing up, and while I didn't play sports, I did spend a lot of time in the woods around our house in south Georgia. I distinctly remember once seeing an indigo snake stretched all the way across the road. Dad would bring home, in buckets, rattlers that he and his hunting buddies shot (makes me sad now - as a kid I was fascinated). I'm not sure how old I was when my dad brought home a rough green snake he'd captured out with those same hunting buddies. My mom is terrified of snakes and wouldn't let me take it inside, so I stayed on our screened-in porched for hours, letting it glide over my hands. It was just so cool. I wanted to keep it, but we didn't know how to house or feed it, so I reluctantly let it go that evening. That was the animal the lit the fire for my love of snakes. Later, at a Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program, I got my grubby little hands on a book about anacondas and decided they were the coolest creatures in the world. I got my first snake - my ball python, Sava - the minute I moved into an apartment off campus as a senior in college.

What sparked your love of herps? Was it a particular animal, a book, a TV show?

 Comments: View Oldest First  

Posted At: 2/4/2012 10:09:03 PM  

 I have always loved animals. But what really sparked my love for reptiles was Steve Irwin.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 10:53:37 PM  

i fell in love with them because i thought they were interesting and i always tried to save them when i found them :) also, i'm pretty sure i liked them at first because i was supposed to be scared. LOL

Michael ,
Posted At: 2/4/2012 11:11:36 PM  

I was on a school Field trip to a museum  and they had a nature area ,  there was a pond, and as we walked bye  about 200 garter snakes came out of their  den and where swimming all over the pond .. I was fascinated . I took every pictures  in my little camera , but not 1 came out .. I have looked for that place  so many times  and never was able to figure  out where we where ..

Cynthia Chaplin,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 1:01:07 AM  

200 garters - what a sight! That's awesome!

Posted At: 2/5/2012 7:09:20 AM  

:) My love of snakes began in 2000 on my 10th birthday. My Grampa brought me to the mall, and to Rainforest Cafe for dinner, but they had a new program called Serpent Safari. There was this big, beautiful albino burmese, her name was Popcorn. We stayed there petting her, and holding her all day <3

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 10:12:23 AM  

Mom made the mistake of letting me hold a Honduran Milk Snake when I was super young.  That was it.  I had to have a snake.  I waited about 29 years, but that's when the timing was right.

My Husband also thinks I'm a reptile.  AND cold blooded.  I'm never warm - EVER.  I'm always cold, my hands are like ice about 90% of the time.  So me and Banana are both cold blooded.

Posted At: 2/5/2012 10:21:25 AM  

amen emily, we always joke about me being cold blooded, because unless im 80+ i'm cooooold ;)

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 10:25:52 AM  

+1 Alyy!!!  If the hubby would let me I'd keep the heat on 78*.  I CRAVE summer.  I need it.  This winter is killing me!  Hell, I still sleep with a comforter in the middle of August!

Ché Kinnard,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 10:31:40 AM  

I am an Arkansas boy who was instilled with snake fear. Around about the time I was 10 or 11, I decided I had to face my fears (any fear, not just snakes). So anything, that would have frightened me as a young kid, interested me as a teen. I remember being on the mall when I was around 17. I used to enjoy visiting the the pet shop on the mall to see the puppies, kittens, and birds-but puppies mostly. Well one day in a cage by the checkout, they had a redtail boa constrictor for $225. Man that thing was so coool and I had the money on me to buy right then. But I didn't because no way would Mama let bring a snake home. That's when I really started wanting one.

Fast forward to 1992 and I am in college. One of the offensive linemen was standing outside of the dorms with a small rabbit. I was like Verl, "whatdohellyoudoingwithdatdamnbunny"? He told me he was going to feed it to his six Burmese python. I had to see that as well as a few of the other athletes. Man I laughed so hard when that Burm struck and constricted and all of these big tough badass football and basketball players screamed like little girls. Still makes me laugh. Well after that I had to get one. 

Not too long after that, I was in Walmart shopping for an aquarium for my dorm. I had all of the supplies in my cart, turned the corner and on the back wall of Pet department were too Ball pythons selling for $99 each. Instead of fish, I set up a BP in that aquarium and have been in love with BPs and fascinated by all snakes since.

Brittany Donaldson,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 12:31:51 PM  

I was also a tomboy, I was always playing in the woods and I also played sports, I played soccer and basketball.  My Dad loved animals, we had made our basement into our own aquarium.  When you first came down the stairs there was a tank that was built into wall with mud skippers.  Then when you got to the bottom of the stairs and turned to the right (the only way you could turn) there was a "river tank" that my Dad created his own water fall from scratch and there were different critters like tree frogs, fire belly newts, little fresh water eels, crabs, and some other critters I can't remember right now.  That was in a hallway that lead into the open area of the basement.  When you turned to the right (all the tanks would be on your right as you walked into the basement cause there was a storage room where we could take care of the tanks, but on the outside all you could see was tanks) there was a 180 gallon salt water tanks with rass, a puffer fish, tang, clown fish, and a couple others I can't remember right now.  Next was a 50 gallon tall that was our reef tank, next was a 150 gallon fresh water tank with African Cichlids.  Then you made another right and there were my favorites after the door that lead into the room where we took care of everybody, my giant day gecko was the highest up, below him was my leos, then below him was 2 small tanks side by side one with dart frogs the other with 2 spiny lizards.

Not sure if you could create an image from that description, but it was my Dad that started my love of herps, he was terrified of snakes, but one day I found a garter snake in the backyard, but I couldn't catch him.  When I was 5 I went to the local nature center on a school field trip and they asked who wanted to pet the tarantula, all the girls were scared, but not me I was practically jumping up and down, so I got to pet the tarantula and then proceeded to go home and inform my Mother that I wanted one.  Needless to say she was sure there was something wrong with me and I never did get my tarantula, lol.

My Dad died when I was 7 and my Mom could not take care of all the animals by herself so we slowly downsized, but she did allow me to get a box turtle and keep my leo.  After I moved out my boyfriend bought me my first corn snake and the rest is history.

Sorry for such a long story, lol

Paul White,
Posted At: 2/5/2012 5:02:39 PM  

I can't remember *not* liking them or wanting them as pets. My first herp were some frogs when I was snowballed from there :)

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