Thursday, 20 May 2010 14:21 Snake Adventures
Written by Ava100

If he wasn't married to his wife, perhaps Robby Robbins would be married to the snakes he find in the wild.  After all, searching for them, even when he doesn't get to keep them, is one of his favorite pastimes. 

"Unlike most field herpers, I am not on a biological scavenger hunt just trying to check off all of the species on a list.  Finding reptiles in the wild is a lot more personal to me.  It is like a link to my childhood," he says.

When Robby first began to keep snakes, he took on 6 of them, even when his wife never wanted snakes in the first place.  Still, she has bee ok with letting the others into their home.  While she even asked that his  original plan be only four, guess you can't keep a snake fanatic down. She gracefully accepted the rest. Of course, he loves his pet snakes, but he still continues to search for the rare ones when he can.

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Thursday, 13 May 2010 14:44 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.

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Monday, 03 May 2010 13:22 The Snake Keeper
Written by Ava100

Sabra Chapman is fun and cute and bubbly.  The kind of young work professional who's in her late twenties and hangs out at the pub after hours.  

Still, there's one key characteristic that makes her truly unique.  Sabra keeps snakes.  

She just started self-proclaimed "obsession" but she feels telling her story is a great way to connect to other young people who might be in the same position.

"From a young age, I'd had an interest in the 'unusual', I remember finding a newt as a small girl and keeping it for awhile. It had a little pool and plants in a make shift viv.  I took it to school for show n tell and was asked by the teacher if i would donate to the nature reserve at the school. I remember being really annoyed I'd lost my pet! Mum said I also had a tendency to catch bee's and snails! I never seemed content with budgies, guinea pigs or cats!" she says.  As she got older, Sabra met a few friends who kept lizards.  It wasn't until she met friend Chris, however, that things really started to change!

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010 12:12 The Power of RFUK
Written by Ava100

Mike Hobson may be new to the reptile world, but he sure doesn't show it.

He's known he'd be keeping reptiles in his home since he was a child and now that he has them, you can call him something of an expert.  Although he would never admit it, he knows what he's doing.  

It all started on December 30, 2009 when his partner told him that all the birthday presents she wanted to get him online were out of stock.  With  £100 in her pocket, she asked him, "What do you want?"

Being the expert he was, Mike, without thinking, quipped, "A snake." 

"With that I went online and did a load of reading (my eyes where hurting afterwards lol) and the snakes i read about where corns and royals," Mike says.

The next day he went with his partner online and found a normal 18month old female royal, a large vivarium, lights, and more. The asking price was , £120 but Mike bargained it down when he noticed she had retained shed on her head and upper neck. 

"So i said 'I have £90 and I'll take her now.' So home i went with my 1st rep."

Being a newbie to it all, Mike was worried about the retained shed and used our forum (go RFUK!) to talk to fellow member Michael Keeling for some advice.  With Michael's encouragement, Mike upgraded to the "RFUK Supporter Subscription." (So you all know he's the one to ask about this matter! ;-))

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Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:01 The Moderator
Written by Ava100

Sounds like a movie huh?

We have a very special member spotlight on the horizon.  We have another Andy in our midst (apparently you RFUK members like that name, I've already encountered three of you) but this one's a MODERATOR! 

His name on the forums is Bothrops.

Andy Wootton has been on the RFUK forums for almost three years now and was recently invited to become a moderator.  He's still not sure what he did to deserve it, but we have a few ideas swimming around.  

Want to know why? You'll have to read the rest of this spotlight! 

Andy grew up surrounded by cats, dogs, and rabbits and early on in his existence, he attempted to persuade his parents for a snake.  They wouldn't allow him to keep one for excellent reasons (he was 5 years old at the time and his mother had a fear of them!) but he continued to persist until the ripe ol' age of 9 when he brought in stick insects, European tree frogs, and green anoles.  Still no snake. By age 12, his mother changed her tune to, "I'll think about it and the next day he was the proud new owner of a yearling classic corn snake.  Thus, a snake affinity was born.

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Sunday, 18 April 2010 15:05 Reptile Keepr, Vivarium Builder
Written by Ava100

Andy Marshall (aka Volly on RFUK) is a 30-year old married guy from Wirral, Northwest UK with 3 cats, 1 chihuahua, 2 giant African land snails and 1 Baird's Rat Snake.  Of course, we only care about the snake!  And yes, he is responsible for some of those homes where you keep your reptiles.  Andy is a certified vivarium builder and cabinet maker.  

We'll let his interview answers speak for themselves.  

What is so appealing for you about owning reptiles/snakes?

They are a lot nicer to look at and far more interesting to watch - feeding habbits e.t.c

They also tend to be easier to look after ( with the correct husbandary.)

The appeal to people who live in households that do not allow pets. Rented accomodation is usually also a bonus as most landlords will allow reptiles in the home because they are kept in vivariums so they do not have "free run" of the house and the opportunity to cause damage by chewing, scratching or "messing up" inside. 

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