As a young child I always had a love for both science and animals, and my mother and grandmother nurtured this passion. As time passed and my studies continued I was fortunate enough to do an internship at The Field Museum of Natural History in the Herpetology department and also contribute to a study at the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest, IL. While I continued my education in graduate school I had the ability to work with an array of animals and scientists working on a multitude of projects. Following graduate school and starting a career, I was fortunate enough to create a collection of colubrids and other reptiles that I have always found interesting.
Stan and I began chatting about 5 years ago about Persian Rat Snakes and the pied gene. As our conversations continued we were offered an opportunity to acquire a group of WC David's Rat Snakes from Bushmaster Reptiles in 2013. As we continued to work with the David's we started to collaborate on a number of other projects. This collaboration is really what you would expect in the hobby as it's always fun to reach for the next goal in the collection and new exciting additions for other hobbyists. It's always hard to say no though when projects become available... Guess that's why it is always nice to have a partner that you can share in the blame to your significant other.
Larry and I met through a mutual friend, Rex Knight, and over the years have fueled each others interest in different colubrids. Over the years we have had many conversations about the hobby and practices with different Asian Rat Snakes. Larry has a strong interest in Chinese Beauty Snakes and if looking for some of the best representations of that species in the hobby you should contact Larry. Larry and I work together on the Aberrant 100 Flower Rat Snakes.
Clint and I met several years ago, as Clint was searching for some unique Asian species to add to his growing collection of "Elaphe". Over the years we became extended family and Clint and I took it to the next step which included some joint projects. Clint and I work together on several species including King Rat Snakes, Cave Dwelling Rat Snakes, and Black Rat Snake morphs. His children have also taken a keen interest in the reptiles and I look forward to seeing them grow their passion and interest in these species and adding their own projects to Clint's collection.
Ralph and I met through a similar interest in Mandarin Rat Snakes. Over the years we've become extended family, as Ralph would visit my parents house in Chicago when I was in town. Ralph's interests extend outside of Mandarin Rat Snakes and has an incredible collection of Carpet Pythons and slowly I've been getting him to spark an interest in Dione Rat Snakes!
Rex Knight passed away in 2017, but was one of the contributing factors on how we were able to grow our Japanese Forest Rat Snake (E.conspicillatus) collection. He will be greatly missed in the hobby and in our hearts. Every season that we hatch 100 Flowers, Japanese Forest, and Mandarin Rat Snakes it's hard not to think about all of the prior conversations we had in the past about these species.
Klaus was a very knowledge man who fueled my interest in Asian Rat Snakes. His publications provided me with the essential background research of the Asian species that we work with at Sarpamitra. He was a very energetic man and was always willing to share literature and information on species. Klaus passed away in 2019, but will be lived on by his monograph of Elaphe a.k.a. the Rat Snake Bible!
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