I get asked many times: “Why do you care about these scaly critters?”
I actually don’t know. Was it “Grisu” the little dragon? “Kaa” the python in Jungle Book? No idea!
At the age 4 or 5 I started to catch frogs in a lake, when I was in holidays with my grand parents. I asked my grandpa, if I can take them home, but he denied. He couldn’t stay my sad facial expression, and promised me, to take me to a pet shop, as soon we’re back home in Germany. He kept his word!
We went indeed to a pet store, to find frogs. But in the 70s there weren’t many shops with exotic animals. Just with dogs, cats, birds, fish and co. My parents had already 2 budgies, and they always denied to buy me a dog. Obviously, because they didn’t want to walk it everyday. But they agreed to frogs. They thought, they were easy to handle. But as I said… No unfortunately they all had no frogs. In one shop we found these red eared slider turtles. My first reptiles. They got even pretty big. They grew big so quickly, that we had to bring them back to my grandpa, who had a pond in his garden. He kept it until my parents could afford to buy a house with garden. I believe I was 6 0r 7 years old, when I got my turtles back. Then later our sliders died in a too cold winter. After that my next reptiles I got with 11 years. Some garter snakes, and oriental garden lizards. And slowly my room became a reptile zoo. A collection of reptiles I got from people, who got overwhelmed or bored of caring for such grateful animals
My favorite pets were Iguanas, Monitor Lizards and Pythons
My last ever pet “Yago”, a 1.2 m Green Iguana (Iguana Rhinolopha).
He moved with me several times. In the end even to Thailand in 2008. This was another adventure. He died with 28 years on Samui. R.I.P.