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Keep up with news and features of interest to the reptile and amphibian community on the blog. We cover breaking stories from the mainstream and scientific media, user-submitted photos and videos, and feature articles and photos by Jeff Barringer, Richard Bartlett, and other herpetologists and herpetoculturists.

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Do you remember your first reptile experience?

By Cindy Steinle
Mon, October 4 2010 at 19:36

Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)

My first experience with a reptile was also a painful one. I only have a vague memory of it because I was probably 5 or so as well, but I "caught" a 5-lined skink in my backyard. In reality the skink caught me, and I still have the scar on my thumb to prove it. Anytime I see one of these skinks I think of that one that bit me, and honestly I have never tried to catch one since. Traumatized much? Lol. I don't think twice when picking up snakes though... unless its venomous of course.
#1 Jeff on 2010-10-04 23:58 (Reply)
my earliest memory would be when i was 5 we moved to Windsor NY and the had green snakes everywhere. I kept catching and bringing home these beautiful lime green snakes nagging my parents for a cage. finally they got me a 10 gal and id keep them for a week then cut them loose since i didn't know what they ate and go catch another.

my most exciting would be when i was 6 or 7 visiting my gpa in york PA he had a farm with a lake. down buy the lake I caught this 8inch wicked nasty brown n black snake.While in NY id learned how to pin snakes and pick them up without getting bit.

So here I catch this thing take it to the adults to try n find out what it was. Long behold, in central PA, they told me id caught a "native cottonmouth" most deadly snake in America. That's what really jump started my passion because of course from then on I thought i was the man catching a deadly cottonmouth all the adults were terrified of. I think I was probably 12 when i finally realized id been lied to n what id caught was just a common water but foir all those years I thought i was steve irwon or something lol
#2 jason sweigart on 2010-10-05 08:05 (Reply)
I used to chase and catch garter snakes, milk snakes water snakes and everything else reptilian I could get my hands on. One day I came home with an abnormally calm milk snake, and it captured my whole family's interest, so of course we decided to keep him. Well a week later I felt bad, my new captive wouldn't eat and just hid all the time. So I knew he needed to be back in the wild where he belonged. After we released the milk snake, my mother (who was won over now) Decided to take me to get my very first Cal king. He stayed with me until I moved out on my own, and is now one of many many snakes that I keep for both breeding and recreation. Snakes are amazing fascinating creatures, and I have convinced many phobics(with the help of my snakes of course) to handle and appreciate them for there beauty, not reputation and media played up image. And one little milk snake started it all:)
#3 Kate on 2010-10-05 10:57 (Reply)
It was when I was 8 years old and had to rescue my best friend Connie who lived next door from the rock lizard who got in her bedroom. She screamed when I teased her by giving the little lizard a kiss.
#4 candy on 2010-10-05 11:07 (Reply)
First one I remember was running to chase a little snake when mowing the yard as a kid (7? 8?) in Houston...the mower spooked it out and I had to try to catch it. It got away and I have 0 clue what it was.
#5 Paul White on 2010-10-05 12:53 (Reply)
I was maybe three years old and my grandfather took me out into his garden on his shoulders. Between two of the rows there was a blue racer stretched out in the afternoon sun and my grandfather, one of those wise old men who understood that everything had its place and that there was all kinds of wonder in nature, told me to "Watch this." He then stomped his foot and made a show of yelling "Get out of here!" (not sure if he really knew the snake couldn't hear him or not) The snake took off at the speed blue racers are famous for and we immediately went back into the house to pull the "S-Sn" section of the encyclopedia out and look at every snake picture in the book, much to the horror of my grandmother. Ever since then I've been hooked, and while my grandfather, now pushing ninety, is slipping further into senility, he still gets a smile on his face when my mom reminds him that the reason I own a corn snake today is all because of him.
#6 David on 2010-10-06 15:34 (Reply)
I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a house with a swamp behind my house. I remember my first experience was with painted turtles laying their eggs in my backyard at around the age of 5. Ever since then I was hooked. And thanks so much for my mother who allowed me to keep turtles, snakes, lizards, salamanders, frogs, and goodness knows what else I brought home...
#7 Jared on 2010-11-18 14:19 (Reply)

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