How did you get into keeping reptiles?

Calummaparsonii27

New Member
For me, it saved my life. I had a rough childhood, abusive father and all. I was on the edge of ending it all when I got my first lizard, Zer0 my iguana. Then my life turned around. Eventually I ended up getting a little Veiled Chameleon, and I named her after my favorite monster in Monster Hunter, Chameleos. Then I found my calling in life, that being chameleons. Now I'm studying chams constantly and am on track to being a herpetologist studying the behavior of chams. That's how I got into keeping reptiles, how did you guys get into the hobby?
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mom always told me no when I was growing up so naturally I bought my first chameleon not long after I moved out. I have always been fascinated by reptiles and would binge water Crocodile Hunter as a kid. I'm also currently in school part time working toward an associates degree in Environmental sciences then planning on transferring to a school that offers a zoology degree program.

I originally went to trade school for engine repair and ended up working at a small company building engine wiring harnesses. Fast forward 6 years and now I am designing and prototyping new wiring harnesses for the new engines being released each year. I absolutely hate it so I decided to actually pursue my passion for animals and conservation. Never too late to learn!
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
I had an iguana when I was a kid and enjoyed getting to know them. As I got older reptiles were always something I liked and mostly chameleons but my wife was a hard no on reptiles of any kind. My daughter started to really like chameleons out of the blue and we did a TON of reading and research and it became a fun thing for us to talk about. My wife gave in and we got our little guy. Now my daughter loves all sorts of lizards where she used to be super scared. She can't get enough and we read books together about them and search videos. These guys have really helpedy daughter and I to become closer which is worth more then the world to me.
 
I’ve always had very “uncommon” pets, I never wanted just a cat or a dog. My cousin ( who I now realize knew nothing about chameleons) had gotten a veiled chameleon one day and when I first met the little guy, I wanted one right away. I asked my boyfriend if he can get me one since I’m always “lonely” when he’s away at work. I ALSO DIDNT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CHAMELEONS, I told him I wanted a veiled that I saw at petsmart. Right away he told me “no” :cautious:. He said “ if I’m going to spend so much money on a chameleon it’s going to be one I like, even if it cost a little more” I did TONS of research before I got Lucas. I was getting more and more anxious! When finally FLCHAMS posted some for sale & I bought my new Bestfriend. Now I’m always thinking of him and trying to figure out more ways I can make him happy! I’ll be getting him a mate before this year ends! :p
 

Kurty Birdy

New Member
A couple years ago my olders sister got a leapord gecko for her kids but ended up giving it to me because it was "mean". Turns out they were mistreating and stressing the little girl out becsuse as soon as she was in my care she turned into a sweetheart, i guess you could say that little gecko was my gateway drug :LOL:. Then a couple years later i met my amazing girlfriend and she had a ball python and id always been facinated by snaked but was never allowed to own one. Then reptiles just became a passion for us and keeping them has been a big part of our relationship. We just started acquiring more and more new babies.. 2 years later and now we have 2 veiled chams, 2 leapord geckos, 2 turtles, 2 snakes, and fish, and soon we will be moving in together which means no more parents complaining that my room looks like a petting zoo (y)
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
My daughter got me into chameleons. I have always been an animal lover but really didn't know much about reptiles other than one lone red tail boa that I had when I was in my early 20’s. I had never laid eyes on a chameleon until my daughter brought one home from college in 2003 to spend the summer with us. At first, I thought what is she going to do with that thing? I quickly fell in love and by the end of summer I cried more for the chameleon than I did my daughter when they went back to school.

I would pet sit for my daughter and help her with her chameleons. When she started breeding chameleons, my husband and I would even keep the babies. My husband Mike and I enjoyed being around her chameleons and caring for them so much that we finally got a chameleon of our own in October 2007.
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I always liked lizards and snakes, in the zoo I always only cared about the reptile house... So when the aquarium was emptied becsuse my dad didnt want to care for fish anymore my mom suggested it could be a good idea for me to take a small lizard in it so i got my first two leopard gecko's.
 

drj5600

Member
I grew up a daughter to two veterinarians so my childhood was basically a zoo at all times however, they are small animal veterinarians and never dealt much with exotics other than our sulcata tortoise and some african spiny mice. This lead my mom and I to our local exotic show where I ended falling in LOVE with leopard geckos. At the time I was still pretty young and my mom didn't think I was ready for that kind of commitment. I waited very patiently for the exotic show to roll around the next summer and I started driving my parents crazy for my own leopard geckos. I ended up with a pair that lived to about 12-13 years old and died my sophomore/junior year of college. The summer before senior year, I did an internship with the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, NC further cementing my love for exotics and conservation (if you live in NC or anywhere close to NC, I HIGHLY recommend you visit the Duke Lemur Center - largest collection of lemurs outside of their endemic Madagascar) and I felt the void of not being actively involved with exotics anymore so I purchased two hatchling red foot tortoises. They came with me to my senior year of college and I was the talk of our friend group for a while :ROFLMAO: I graduated, bought a house, and once I was settled I started on the hunt for a new species which is what led me to chameleons. I started out with a pair of Jacksons - the male died very quickly from a severe glandular infection which I'm pretty sure the stress of a new home only made worse - I was left with a single female who I loved dearly but she just didn't have the striking look of a panther. Shortly after, I acquired my male panther, Atticus and then a few months after that a bearded dragon, Myrtle and finally a female panther, Martha. I think I am at my max with 6 reptiles and 2 dogs but I sure do love it!
 

CJ's Exotics

Chameleon Enthusiast
For me, it saved my life. I had a rough childhood, abusive father and all. I was on the edge of ending it all when I got my first lizard, Zer0 my iguana. Then my life turned around. Eventually I ended up getting a little Veiled Chameleon, and I named her after my favorite monster in Monster Hunter, Chameleos. Then I found my calling in life, that being chameleons. Now I'm studying chams constantly and am on track to being a herpetologist studying the behavior of chams. That's how I got into keeping reptiles, how did you guys get into the hobby?
What a nice story! It is always nice to hear people who went through rough times, but didn't let themselves get down on life and started with something new!

As for me, I had always loved the reptile section of the zoo like @Remkon, and I always wanted to get a reptile. I had always gone outside to catch frogs and anoles, and had birthday parties with reptiles. Then when my friend got his Leopard Gecko, I was hooked. I did some research, and that is how I got my first gecko, Buster. Ever since then, I collected more and more animals, and then I fell in love with chameleons. I purchased my first panther chameleon a year ago this weekend! But after he passed away, I was heartbroken, and I knew I needed another eventually, and that is how I decided to get...
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
So for me it was probably because of my friends growing up. My friend Marc's father kept some cool creatures in their basement, and I would spend a lot of time just watching them. To be honest, their enclosures were just large fish tanks with screen tops and a light bulb in a jar for heat, but they did well enough :D. This and the fact that my brother was also into amphibians helped fuel the desire to have my own. I remember seeing my first "old world" chameleons years ago in a local pet shop and always wanted to have one. Fast forward to a few years back and I was at a Petco watching a very small Veiled chameleon that looked like it was trying to avoid the much larger one, and the rest was history. I have had many reptiles in the past, and have always enjoyed the hobby, but when I brought home a chameleon for the first time I gained an obsession :cool:. To top it off, I have found a fantastic community of people here on the forums that share in the obsession.
 
Top Bottom