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Amazing Amphibians & Remarkable Reptiles
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Amazing Amphibians & Remarkable Reptiles
By Grady Calhoun

Dear animal lovers, I am very excited to have been asked to provide articles for this magazine. You can look forward to articles covering natural history, husbandry and more about reptiles and amphibians.

The herpetoculture industry, (maintaining and breeding reptiles and amphibians in captivity) has grown to gargantuan proportions. As the president of the Greater Cincinnati Herpetological Society, I am routinely asked questions regarding captivity and maintenance of reptiles and amphibians. I will begin with basics.

As with any pet, the prospective owner should obtain as much information about the animal they are interested in before it is purchased and brought home. The very first thing to research is, What will this animal be like as an adult? Like puppies and kittens, the young animals may cause an impulse-buy, only to become images/stories/SNAKE_REPTILES_ARTICLE.jpgunwanted as adults. For example, a reasonably-sized, eighteen-inch Burmese python is very easy to handle, and therefore, easy to keep. The problem is that they will exceed sixteen feet if cared for properly. As you can imagine, the bigger they become, the more difficult proper care becomes.

One of the most common misconceptions is that animals will remain small if kept in small cages. This is simply not true. The bottom line is, if you are not willing to house the adult animal, then the baby should not be purchased. Our herpetological society receives calls almost every day to try to find homes for these unwanted animals. The types of animals at the top of the “Unwanted Adult” list include green iguanas, Burmese pythons, boa constrictors and African spur-thighed tortoises. All of these animals grow to sizes too large for the typical pet owner to accommodate appropriately.

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