How It All Started

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Wild~Touch, May 29, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Slickturtle

    Slickturtle Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Humpty Doo
    It started when I was a small child. My earliest memory was being held on my fathers hip and someone held up a glass jar containing tadpoles and a frog or two in water. I was hooked from then till now.
    But growing up in the mid north of S. A. meant that I had a choice of pretty much one species of snake - the Common Brown. My poor mother had to put up with her 12 year old some coming home on a push bike with brown snakes bulging out of the peg bag that I pinched off her clothes line. I am not sure if my love of brown snakes was spurred on by the fact that my elder brother was bitten (and became very ill) from a brown snake bite - maybe!! He used to push me around a lot. Maybe I saw some revenge there. I did get bitten by a small one once. Again, my poor mother got up every hour or so through the night to take my temp. I had no reaction at all.

    I got lucky scoring a job at Adelaide Zoo when I was only 17. From there I worked for about 10 years with reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park (ARP) with Eric Worrell (that was an eye opener) and finally Melbourne Zoo's Reptile House. Man alive I was lucky when I think about it. The ARP in 1970 was competing with Taronga (Graeme Gow and Paul Horner then) in having the biggest collection of exotic reptiles in Oz. The species list is mind blowing by todays standards. It seems as though zoos are keeping far fewer species of animals these days - probably in better quarters than were used in Ye Olde days.
     
  2. chimerapro

    chimerapro Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    At the top of the range.
    A multi generational effort was how it all started for me.

    My Grandfather was involved a little with Warragamba African Lion Safari (Stafford Bullen opened in 1968 closed in 1991) and my Father had a little experience with keeping elapids under the guidance of Jeff Banks (Mt Druitt) in the mid 70's. My first memory of a reptilian encounter was living in Darwin NT with father serving as a chef in the Air Force living in Nightcliff, he one day found a childrens python Antaresia childreni in the food storage area feeding on mice in there. Bringing it home as a pet for myself 5 and sister 3 until mum found it hidden in the linen cupboard a few weeks later and made it be released back out into the bush. My next encounter was in 1993/94 when we caught this carpet python (Bob) as a pet,
    aps2.jpg it was housed in an old wooden chest with a light bulb, holes for air and was fed live rats I caught from inside the chook pen (Oh how times, equipment, husbandry techniques ect have changed lol) We had Bob until he sadly passed away in 1996 from unknown (most likely parasite or husbandry related) causes. Not long after that NSW began a licence system so it was not until I was old/mature enough to get my own licence (1998/99) was when my passion and interest in reptiles really took off as did my interest and formal qualification training in Aquaculture. Throughout my later senior years of high school I kept and bred a few bread and butter species (Eastern beardies, bluies, water dragons, water skinks, carpet pythons). With guidance from a very long term herper Ron Briggs (who I owe my current interest and handling knowledge in elapids and field herping)
    In 2001 I had the pleasure to deal with Peter Krauss in North Qld and purchased my first non local specie a hatchling water python Liasis fuscus aps3.jpg Bitey is his name and is still a part of my collection today 13yrs on. I now am able to work operating my own Herpetoculture/wildlife relocation/public edcation business in Toowoomba Qld passing on and educating future generations of reptile keepers, field herpers, wildlife advocates and just doing my part to promote respect for the environment and its inhabitants.
    aps1.jpg
     
  3. Luvbuz

    Luvbuz Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cairns
    I was born into a family where the only good snake is a dead snake and so became petrified of anything that moved without legs (earthworms excepted!). That fear continued until my late 40's when I was at a pet store and watched a couple of little kids handling a male spotted. I thought if they can do it then so can I, and asked for a hold once the kids had finished. The store keeper had overheard my trepidation and took me through handling the little ant. From that moment, when I realised snakes aren't cold and slimy and bite at will, I was hooked. I was fortunate enough to hear about a bloke in town who was selling a blonde spotted (lined) python and went for a look. I already had my recreational wildlife license because of my birds, so did the deal. That was four years ago. I now have had a blonde spotted, a beautiful big BHP girl, two hypo bredli and an albino darwin. Space, like with a lot of other posters became an issue and I ended up selling the blonde and two hypos, but will never part with my big, placid BHP or the tantrum throwing albino, who is going through his terrible two's at the minute. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd be doing what chimerapro does - running education programs for kids in the Far North. Too many people today still reflect the way I was brought up, and I would dearly love to tell them "I was just like you and look at me now!"... I'm not in the game to breed or make money, I just enjoy the quiet solitude of looking in my animal's enclosures while they do what snakes do and marvel at them!
     
  4. Cockney_Red

    Cockney_Red Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    2
    Catching Adders and Grass Snakes back In blighty nearly 50 years ago...:)
     
  5. CrystalMoon

    CrystalMoon Reptile Lover Subscriber

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,395
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Where ever I lay my hat
    My first memory of my fascination with reptiles....
    I found a nest of snake eggs and took them up stairs and put them in my Doll's cot(I hated dollies lol) I was around 3-4 at the time, My mother found them and flogged my bottom. I was told to throw them out! I remember hiding them in my old dress up shoes, then forgot about them lol I was always catching spiders, lizards and snakes as a child. I kept Pythons out in the bush for years(I didnt know you had to have a permit till I moved to town) My keeping methods were crude but seemed to work? The Pythons I had were healthy without any issues...... Old fish tanks with a log hide up one end and a rock at the other, mesh lid and a desk lamp with a high wattage over the rock(out side the enclosure). I gotta admit to live feeding rodents(wild caught) I was a tad primitive back then(and young) I have learned much since being in suburbia(some good some bad) I dont live feed and my enclosures are more modern now ;) and I am older lol I have never lost my love of reptiles and critters it has only gotten more passionate
     
  6. "Righto you kids, outta the House, weekend's are for parents and I don't want to see any of you till Dinner time!":)

    First lizard was an Eastern Bluie (still love em), first snake was a Vic Tiger (kept under the bed and away from parents).
     
  7. Amynickid

    Amynickid Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Always loved weird things and animals, use to catch and keep geckos, skinks, water dragons in my early teens and release them. My ex owned a coastal carpet and his brother had a collection of coastals, bredlis etc. I decided I wanted one, started looking around online, wernt to a reptile exhibition, found a lovely hatchy jungle there and fell in love. Now a year later I want more!
     
  8. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    33
    Lifted up a rock when I was little and picked up a pebble that was under it, turns put that wasn't a pebble but a frog, after all pebbles don't jump out of your hand lol I'm assuming that where the interest started, earliest memory of a wild animal encounter. If its nit that then I don't what started it batik now I have loved animals my whole life.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Lifted up a rock when I was little and picked up a pebble that was under it, turns put that wasn't a pebble but a frog, after all pebbles don't jump out of your hand lol I'm assuming that where the interest started, earliest memory of a wild animal encounter. If its not that then I don't what started it but I know I have loved animals my whole life.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Lifted up a rock when I was little and picked up a pebble that was under it, turns put that wasn't a pebble but a frog, after all pebbles don't jump out of your hand lol I'm assuming that where the interest started, earliest memory of a wild animal encounter. If its not that then I don't what started it but I know I have loved animals my whole life.
     
  9. Illium

    Illium Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia, Australia
    I think its hereditary for me. Reptiles and Inverts.
    Apparently when I was 3 I used to beat at the front door at 6 on the weekend to be let out to catch skinks and beetles.
    Used to go "out of bounds" and get in trouble constantly in year 1 and 2 for hunting animals up the back of the oval.

    Got seriously ****** when a kid a few years older found a bunch of hatchie red bellies at school.

    Had several pet blue tongues I found as a kid to the point my grandmother built a lizard pit.

    Year 5 teacher used to let me out of class if I saw a beardie on the oval, occasionally came in with bites but laughing about it. (yet generally im a wuss)

    As soon a I had a license I went out west, caught a thick tail, ackie at the devils marbles and a crap load of manicatus and yashis.

    Got my license, an olive and childs, but then met my wife and she cant handle snakes at all.
    Hobby went on hold when I sold them.

    Then my son came along, with no coercion he had an obvious knack for reptiles, so we got a beardie, then my daughter is a lizard nut too. So I bought a few more, but now myself and the kids have a real thing for monitors. Expansion is imminent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  10. MissDangerous

    MissDangerous Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Noosa
    I have always loved animals, of any size and shape. Used to sit on the grass as a little kid and feed the local lizard population tiny grasshoppers, always fascinated with them. Dad accompanied me on a school excursion when I was in grade one to a local wildlife sanctuary, and i would not stop asking the reptile handler a million questions about the snake he was displaying. All the kids were kinda freaked out, but the handler leaned close and whispered that if my dad said it was ok, I could have a hold when the other kids moved on. Dad knew better than to say no, and with much excitement I was allowed to touch the snake, then had it draped over my shoulders. It made my year! Couldn't wipe the grin off my face, and since then I have always had a fascination with these incredible creatures. 20 years later, I finally have one of my own!

    Took a while, but was definitely worth the wait :)
     
  11. Sheldoncooper

    Sheldoncooper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    594
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I remember when I was around 7 I would spend 6 to 8 hours a day on weekends in the local bushlands. Watching any wildlife I could mainly reptiles. Beardeds, jacky's, blue tounges,shingle backs but I loved watching the snakes and how they moved. Tigers, copper heads, red bellies, browns getting to know there routines and where to find them. And eventually learning how to handle them. Well I learnt pretty quickly that the tigers were best watched from a distance. And yes not very smart I know but I just couldn't help my self. I was chased by a few tiger snakes and only ever tagged once by a tiger but I reckon he struck 5 or 6 times in no time. It was 2 weeks before I was back. Nearly 30 years on if im driving and see a spot where I think I'll be able to spot a few reps I'll pull over and go for a walk. I think once your hooked its a life long thing.
     
  12. montysrainbow

    montysrainbow Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    My 1st encounters were while i was little growing up in country nsw. I would often go to collect the eggs from our chook pen peel the hesian sack door across to reach in and grab eggs only 2 c a big brown coiled up having a feast! Lol i didnt stop for cuddles i instead ran like a scardy cat back to mum without the eggs....i thought they were interesting but yeah they scared me. It wasnt really until i had my own boys that love lizards that i got into them. My guys still love catching geckos and garden skinks lol letting them visit their day spa ( empty yoghurt tub with milk cap full of water lol) i think all animals are lovely but reptiles are my fave.
     
  13. Wild~Touch

    Wild~Touch Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,445
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I cannot remember not having a frog or turtle in my life ... we lived opposite a swamp where I spent most of my time (much to my mothers disgust.)

    I used to gather frog spawn and lovingly watch them develop into frogs

    They were kept in a fish tank on top of my wardrobe as my younger brothers were pests...

    I blamed my brothers for taking my little froggies...years later when the wardrobe was moved I found lots of mummified froggies stuck in the carpet :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  14. briansworms

    briansworms Power Seller Power Seller

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Southport Qld
    As a kid it was Stumpy Tail Lizards. That's all I knew them as. ( Shingle Backs) There was the billabong ( just a dam but hey we were kids). We were always catching frogs and tadpoles.
    Once in my late 40s I was diagnosed with Diabetes and struggled with depression and my wife thought a turtle would be good. So I got everything I needed and bought 2 Eastern Long Neck hatchies. The need to give them good live food lead me to keeping worms and woodies. After many years Brian's Worms evolved with the encouragement from people on Australian Freshwater Turtles Forum. I still have Chopper my female ( used to be a boy hence the name lol) She would be around 11 years old. I lost Ollie the smaller male a few years back. Really was a very sad day. He was about 7 years old.
    At this stage I don't own any other reptiles. I would love a Beared Dragon.
     
  15. aj33340

    aj33340 Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Drouin, Victoria, Australia
    when my parents brought home a blotched blue tongue and then a few months later bought home some shingle backs i got hooked cant wait to get more its always anew adventure with a new species
     
  16. markannab

    markannab Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Taree NSW
    For the first 25 years of my life, the only snakes I came across were venomous. While I was fascinated by them and had no particular fear of them, I always sought to kill them. Like so many, it was simply the culture I was raised in, especially since I lived the first part of my life in the QLD outback. When my future wife came along, she was appalled that I'd kill animals "just for the sake of it", so I stopped doing it.

    Then we moved to the central coast of NSW. I'd heard that "large pythons" lived here so, for the next few years, I excitedly kept my eyes open hoping to spot one. After seventeen years, I hadn't seen a single one in the wild! Then it all changed. One day, I was driving through town when I spotted a snake on the road – injured but alive. I could tell from the head shape it wasn't a python. It looked venomous. So I moved it to the side of the road and called a rescuer. It turned out to be a GTS and later died from it's injuries. My contact with the rescue organisation set my interest on fire. I joined the organisation and bought several books on snakes – especially pythons. I really got into learning to identify snakes and understand their life cycles and anatomy. Of course, being involved in rescues, I got to see plenty of those "large pythons" in the wild . . . and in chicken runs, and attics, even a big diamond in a deep fryer on a kitchen bench!

    I admired a friends pythons, including a small carpet. Then, one day, he rang and said that, due to injuries sustained in a car accident a few years earlier, he was simplifying life and getting rid of the carpet – his one remaining snake – and asked if I'd like to have it, along with the 450mm Reptile One enclosure. Naturally, I said yes. That little carpet is now 7.5 feet long and takes centre stage in the open living area in a 7' high enclosure. A later rescue resulted in a second snake for me when the snake went to a NPWS ballot, and I was awarded it – a young spotted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page