T Nation

Exotic Pets


I actually stumbled upon this link through an ESPN article, and it caught my interest: http://www.bobcatsmt.com/

Anybody on here have experience with any exotic/out-of-the-ordinary pets? The idea always interested me, but so far I've stuck to good 'ol fashioned dogs.


Red tail boa, ball python, emperor scorpion, even a very large crawfish. Will someday have a tarantula. Also have kept burmese pythons for friends that went out of town. They are cool snakes, but can get rather big.

I will forgo wild cats. Wily, cunning, fast, sharp clawed and teethed predators are a big gamble.


I have lots of exotic pets! I breed reptiles.

I currently have:

About 75 red tail boa constrictors
36 ball pythons
About 200 leopard geckos
About 30 bearded dragons
15 or so crested geckos
Lots of eggs in the incubator.
Millipedes and tree frogs.

My snake collection will double this next breeding season.


I had a fox when I was a kid. Neat animal, but she wasn't a very good pet. We kept it on a harnes, which it would slip very easily. They also have an ear splitting shreak they use when they feel threatened, like when a hawk flies over.

It eventualy went into heat and took off looking for a mate.


Great question. I had this urge for many years to try to raise a 30 foot reticulated python (no kidding), because there was an open one million dollar prize for a snake that reached that size (Some New York zoo as well as a private collector as I recall). I had a friend, and we had plans to build this giant pit. I started out with some other pythons and boas and after a mere ten footer nearly squeezed the life out of me, I decided to can the idea.

I had another exotic "pet" that I loved. It was an octopus I caught in the Atlantic, which I took home and put in my saltwater aquarium. It thrived for a while, but one day got sucked up into the filter and died. I was seriously bummed, and decided average amateurs were not meant to keep exotic animals.


People don't realize how big a burm or retic really gets. A burm can easily reach 10ft in a year. My friend just sold two that were over 20ft and over 200lbs. They were as thick as a telephone poll.

The other day he was feeding a retic that is just under 10ft. When he opened the cage door, the snake slammed the door open to get to the rat. The snake missed and got his hand. It was a bloody nasty mess. He had to get many many stitches. It was hard for the doc to stitch too due to the nature of the bite.

I get bit all the time by my red tails, not that big of a deal. It's usually my fault. Although, I have a few EVIL snakes. I've never been bit from a snake in feeding response mode though. BIG difference! Imagine an 8-10ft boa in feeding response mode constricted around your arm. I don't even want to think about a burm or retic!


fucking awesome!

I have a shit load of green tree frogs and Mediterranean geckos that live outside my house along with anoles, ahahaha.


Haha! What was the ten footer? A burmese? Good thing you didn't try a retic, as they are one of the more aggressive constrictors along with the carpet python. Emerald boas and green tree pythons aren't so tame either. Ball pythons are probably the most "user" friendly, followed by the red tail boa.


My husband's family raised and rescued burms retics and some misc boas. They had around 50 at the most averaged around 40. Their largest retic was 21ft and an absolute sweetheart. Also out of all the snakes I've seen I love retics. Gorgeous sheen to the skin and the orange eyes. We've talked about getting a nile monitor but we're definitely not setup for one right now.


A monitor? Yeesh. Yeah, you need to really prepare an escape proof area for that. Awesome reptile, but agile and a bit tempermental.


I had two exotic pets during middle school and high school.

One was a bearded dragon and it was an awesome pet for sure. It only attacked me a couple times (when I first bought it) since it was young and scared but it was just tiny. Once she got used to me, it was the tamest thing ever and let me hold it and pet it all the time.

I also made a harness like the ones that are sold and walked around with it in my backyard and stuff. It was definitely a cool pet and very docile. I had it a long time and it died when it was 7 or 8 or so.

My other one was a veiled chameleon. It lived long for its species and died when it was 4. It was awesome to watch eat crickets and walk around and simply fascinating to watch change colors and stuff.

But, it wasn't the friendliest ever. It didn't bite me because I handled it well but it definitely didn't like much handling and gave me warnings when I touched it in areas it didn't like. I don't regret having either pet but if I were to do it again, I would be open to buying a bearded dragon.


When we were kids a buddy and I caught a small alligator in the bayou running through our neighborhood and kept it in his back yard fort until his parents saw it. We had him for a few days but couldn't get him to eat any cats or even thawed chicken breasts. I think he must have been too stressed.


Worked in a pet shop for many years that sold everything but dogs and cats.

any non venomous snake there was was there at one time or another along with Monitor lizards and everything. I once pulled out a baby burmese python for a customer, nasty little bastard lol, struck at the customers face, and then hit me twice in my forarm before I could blink......so back in the cage for him lol.

We had a friend that raised snakes, and in his venemous room, WOW that was eerie go in there and hear rattlers, hisses and all.

Notice I said had, he had a lovely black cobra and she was egg bound and she was out on the floor, he had handled this snake thousands of times was quite tame (if you can believe that) and he was giving her an injection to help her relese the eggs, and in an instant she struck, he was wearing sandals, and it hit just right, right at an vein by the big toe.

He did not have time to get the anti-venom, and his wife was a nurse, all she could do is hold him till he died.

So leave the venomous snakes alone !!.


And that is why I never suggest venomous animals as pets. Unpredictable.

That story reminds me of the guy who kept a gaboon viper as a pet. Yeah, he got bit, but survived.


I know people who have hundreds of venomous snakes. Not my cup of tea. Especially since I have young children running around here.

Next weekend we'll have a table selling our animals at a reptile show here in Tampa. You'd be amazed how may people are addicted to reptiles. Reptiles are like Doritos, you can't have just one!


As it's not for a lot of snake fans. Complacency is the biggest threat to those that are used to handling them. The majority of handlers are bitten when doing something they have done many, many times with a familiar snake.

I'm fascinated by vipers but they are not creatures to be pets. They are loaded and cocked guns with hair triggers.


I totally agree! I only get bit when I do something stupid. Move too fast, too many people around, etc. Most of my snakes are very nice, but I have some EVIL ones you cannot hold without them continually striking at you. Bloodline has a lot to do with it. I always tell people that any snake can and will bite you. Don't get too comfortable.


BigRagoo, since you asked, the big snake that really scared me was a nine foot, thick as my bicep boa I caught in the wild in Costa Rica on vacation. It was so beautiful, and it was cornered in the middle of a road, surrounded by locals with machetes who wanted to kill it. Snake lovers will go to all lengths to stop killings like that. I trapped him, and he wrapped himself around my waist and wrist and squeezed like hell. I couldn't drive myself back to my place, so I waited there for ten minutes until another gringo showed up and had enough balls to help me get home. That was a long ten minutes. I tried to quasi-domesticate that snake during my long vacation but that was really dumb. I relocated him in dense jungle. I had a slightly longer burmese back home but he was far more tame.
I can't let this cool thread go without mentioning the real love of my pet life-exotic Great Danes. I have had half a dozen Harlequins, a Brindle, and now I have a Blue, which is a rare steel blue color with pure blue eyes. The Harlequins can be the most striking visually, but my Blue is like having another human being in the house-whole lot of personality. I've gotta get video of him "talking" and put it on You Tube, it's hilarious.


I love snakes! People look at me like I'm crazy, particularly because I'm female. Apparently only guys can like such 'horrible' creatures. ;p

I have 7 snakes so far, would get more if my electricity bill wasn't so high:

  • Ball Python, 4ft, a big baby who honest to God watches TV

  • Jungle Carpet Python, 7ft, has a 'tude, has given me enough pinhole scars for people to think I'm a crack addict

  • Red Tail Boa, 7 - 8ft, strongest beast ever. He's never even shown aggression, but I'm really cautious around him now because he's gotten so thick and I have no doubt he could kill me.

  • Blood Python, 4ft, 40-freakin-lbs, absolutely vicious. Like a demon possessed worm. I'm trying to get rid of him.

  • Milksnake, 6ft, annoying. I prefer boids.

  • Rainbow Boa, 5ft, most beautiful creature I've ever seen.

  • Macklot (freckled) python, 15ft and growing, looks like a turd, but is nice. Unfortunately the apartment I'm moving into I can't even get his cage in the door, so he's gotta go.

I seriously love snakes, and get pissed when people kill them.


Here's a few pictures from my last boa litter.

This first one is a hypo arabesque red tail boa. I'm keeping it, but it would sell for about $2k.