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History

“Hey Waffle!” Think I never heard this growing up? Since it's never got old, and since I couldn’t seem to run from or kill it, I embraced it instead in 2008 by formally launching this website and giving a name to a passion equally immortal.

Welcome to Waffa House Reptiles!

Like so many others, I must confess to a lifelong fascination with snakes. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, reptiles represented mysterious living dinosaurs I rarely got to see. My parents bought me books to whet my curiosity, but the stories and the pictures only fed the fire. Somewhere along the way I was supposed to "grow out" of reptiles, but it seemed the answer to every question yielded only new questions, and so many questions we still don't know the answers too. I don't supposed I will be growing out of this chronic fascination anytime soon, so I do my best to live with it.

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I am a very small-scale breeder of exceptional quality snakes, primarily locality milk snake subspecies and other North American colubrids at the moment, though I've also kept pythons, boas, and many others over the years. As a veterinary student with a background in conservation biology, population ecology, and public health, my approach to (and reasons for) captive breeding differ greatly from many -- though not all -- breeders in herpetoculture today. The development and propagation of morphs, a respectable industry in its own right, is not the focus of most of my projects. Rather, I seek to cultivate natural art: breeding and refining wild type specimens that represent living monuments to a time and place in our natural history. An avid field herper with an eye toward conservation, my overarching career goal is to improve the husbandry and veterinary care standards of captive reptiles while helping to bridge the gap between academic herpetology and popular herpetoculture. I breed snakes to help reduce the pressure to collect and sell wild stock, to help ensure a future for my chosen lines in the face of mounting environmental tensions, and -- ultimately -- because it satisfies a truly primal curiosity, one that has always yearned to understand that which is most feared and least understood.

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It follows that I do not condone hybridizing species, nor do I line breed animals for which there is a likelihood of inbreeding depression or clutch failure. Rather, I go to great lengths to hand-pick the specimens I add to my collection and keep detailed records to ensure that the animals I produce are as outbred, robust and healthy as nature intended.

Thank you for visiting; and please drop a line. I hope we get to learn a lot from each other!

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Me with mentor and friend, Mitch Allen, in 2010.

© 2008-2014, Waffa House Reptiles