The Young Snake Charmer
Written by Ava100   

Jack Griffiths may be one of the younger RFUK members, but he sure has the enthusiasm that comes with being a veteran reptiles keeper.

At only 15 years old, Jack already has a Californian Kingsnake, a Pastel Royal python, and a Florida Flame x Orange Bearded Snake.

Unfortunately, the problems he faces with keeping these reptiles are not just how to take care of them. Some of the problems are ones that come with his age.  In other words, his parents always have a say.

"To be completely honest, my main struggle in keeping Reptiles was persuading my parents to allow me to be able to keep them. When I wanted to purchase my first snake (the Cali king), my dad did not like snakes at all and was 'scared' of them," he said.

Keeping a Californian king and a Pastel Royal did have some other problems as well, including struggling with temperatures, getting the snakes to eat properly and feeding them properly, as well as making them shed.  But Jack handled it in stride, with help from the forums of course.  After also obtaining a Bearded dragon, he is now in the process of convincing his parents to let him own a Common Boa Constrictor.  "In my opinion, its one of the most beautiful animals in the reptile species," he says.

It may be clear that keeping reptiles, which are his passion, at a younger age is certainly not easy, but it is in fact, one of the most rewarding things he's ever done, Jack says.

We had the chance to get more details from Jack about the experience.

How old are you if you don’t mind me asking and how long have you kept reptiles? How do you persuade your parents that they are ok?

 I'm currently 15 years old and will be 16 in September. Persuading my parents was the hardest part. Because my mum was the only one who would take me to the reptile shops she got most of the upfront info from people who keep reptiles whilst I tried to persuade my dad to look at pictures and read information.

What started your interest in reptiles?

 To be honest i'm not all to sure. I've always been interested in animals and when I was younger was a huge fan of Steve Irwin and watched alot of his programs so I probably got alot of the interest from there.

Do you think you will keep a lot of snakes and reptiles when you are older?

Well I guess it depends on what your opinion of alot is. I have a very keen interest in larger snakes but I don't think I will ever get anything as large as a reticulated python, probably an albino burm. Ever since i've started keeping reptiles I've had a thing for the albino's!
You seem to have a lot of problems with taking care of your reptiles? Do you think its your age or maybe that you don’t have as much experience with them as some others? 
I don't think that is to do with my age. I think i've just been quite unlucky. All the problems i've experienced are things that could of happened with any other person but it was just unlucky that it happened to me as I didn't have that experience that would of came in handy. Luckily with a couple of friends just round the corner who gave me some very good advice I was able to get around these problems with relative ease.
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone in your shoes?
Tough question. It depends what type of advice people were looking from. One I would say was be persistant when you have problems with your reptiles. I know it can be stressful especially when we are younger but there are always lots of kind people around who are more than willing to help when you have problems!
What is so rewarding about reptiles?
I think the most rewarding thing about keeping reptiles is the sense of pride that comes with it. It's a great thing to be able to keep one of these exotic creatures successfully and it's always nice to be able to answer questions about them too!
What do you like about RFUK?
One thing that is very helpful about the forum is the ability to find new extremely helpful people who are just out there to help, and came across a nice couple on the site, who are sadly no longer together, who kept many snakes and lizards including boas, Royals, Hoggies, Beardies and an Ackie. They allowed me to get a very good experience handling the different animals, especially the boas and bearded dragons. Providing me with rats and mice for cheap prices, they saved the day by providing me with a fresh killed multi which soon kicked the kings feeding response back into action!


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