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Membership Director: Peter Kazek

Membership Director: Peter Kazek
​​Email: membership_director@centralfloridaherpsociety.org

My fascination with reptiles started in grade school when the local zoo brought some snakes to the school and I got to handle a small boa constrictor, I'm guessing it was maybe 2 ft long.  It wrapped its tail around 3 of my fingers to hold on and I was surprised at how an animal of that size was so strong !  I was also amazed that I could not really move my fingers, it did not hurt, the boa was just hanging on. 1998 I started volunteering at the Minnesota Zoo.  One of the areas the volunteers would work was the Zoolab, where we would handle and interpret the animals they had there.  Among them were Prehensile Tailed Skinks and large boa constrictors and it was these that really got me interested in reptiles. I'd always thought reptiles were cool, I just never thought to keep one as a pet.  Until after I met Jenn in 2003 and we'd gone to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and met some of the members of the MN Herpetological Society at Como Cottage. The cottage is an area they have on the festival grounds where people could see, touch and ask questions about all kinds of reptiles and amphibians that the MHS members had brought out.  Jenn and I talked to the members there, checked out some of the reptiles and decided to go to the next meeting.  Approximately 3 months later we adopted our first snake, a Common Boa ( I say that because since he was an adoptee I have no idea what his genetics are ), he was about 4 feet long and we named him Amaru which according to info I found on the web at that time is Mayan for large snake.  It's 9 years later and Amaru is the largest snake in my collection at 8 feet. In 2005 I started working part time for Twin Cities Reptiles, owner/manager Bruce Delles and general manager Sara Sazbo.  I learned TONS from both of them and had the opportunity to work with a very large number of different reptiles and amphibians during my 5 years there. Everything from large constrictors, a 16ft Lavender Albino Retic named Oscar, yellow and green anacondas, large and small monitor lizards and a large breeding colony of Bearded Dragons.  All types of medium and smaller snakes, Hondurans, Carpets, Ball pythons, Blood pythons, corn snakes and of course all kinds of amphibians and lizards.  One of the most memorable reptiles was Tinley .. a female water monitor that was the shop mascot.  I really loved caring for and especially feeding her we'd sometimes play tug of war with her pre-killed rodents.  I also had the opportunity to work with TCR's breeding pair of Black Dragons !  I worked with both of them and held the female several times, I just wish I'd taken pictures of them. Our collection has grown over the years and we have and have kept Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Uromastyx and we fostered a juvenile Iguana for a year until it was adopted.  And of course we have a few different species of snakes.

In my snake collection I have kept, Boa Constrictors, Corn / Red Rat snakes, Honduran, Black and Pueblan Milk snakes, Carpet Pythons, a couple of different species of Asian Rat snakes and Western Hognose.  I used to have an 8-9 Ft. Patternless Green Burmese python named Shamus but when we moved to Florida we gave him to a friend in MN where he can be happy

 

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