Metal Monkey Exotics is a joint effort between two folks “crazy-about-snakes”, Connie (The Brains) and Chris (The Brawn) located in Mid Michigan.
How It All Began
Shortly after we began dating, Connie started bugging me to buy her a pet snake from the local pet store. While I had always wanted a captive snake of my own, it took a few months for me to finally give in to her.
In the meantime, we started doing research on the internet about different species of snakes and their husbandry. Before long we came across the ball python and the amazing array of colors and patterns; it sounded like the perfect snake to keep.
Once we decided that a ball python was the snake for us, we quickly made our way to the next reptile show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While slightly disappointed in the low amount of vendors, Connie decided that we weren’t leaving without a ball.
After purchasing a male heterozygous piebald, “just in case” we wanted to try our hands at breeding down the line, we met a VERY enthusiastic corn snake vendor. After chatting for a while he mentioned there was a man walking around with a pastel ball python stashed under his shirt!
We approached this gentleman, but it seemed like the eyes of every vendor that had purchased a table was watching us. Forming a wall around him, he quickly produced a couple of snake bags from under his shirt. He slowly pulled a small pastel ball python from one of the bags and Connie’s eyes lit up, “we’ll take him” she said without hesitation.
From that point on we quickly became addicted to the hobby of snake keeping. We have a constantly expanding collection of snakes, each one hand picked to be the best representative of that morph we could find, because it wasn’t long before we decided that we might as well try to produce gorgeous, top quality snakes ourselves!
That is the story of MMX. We both have pet projects in this partnership. Connie loves the blood pythons, all three species – but most notably the Sumatran short-tailed python (Python Curtus), also known as the black blood. We used to have some gorgeous red bloods (check out our gallery) but we decided to keep only a few Sumatran short tails. She has also taken a special interest in the breeding of the domestic rats and African soft-furred rats. While most people think, “They’re just feeders.” she believes that they should still be respected and treated humanely while in everyone’s care.
I work closely with the ball pythons, sales and the day to day care of our snakes. I also build just about everything having to do with the housing, incubators, and various other things to ease the burden of working a full-time job and caring for a large collection of animals.
While we do have a few boas in the collection, we haven’t decided to pursue any breeding efforts with them. We do hope to work with a few other species of pythons in the future, but our hands are full with just the animals we do have!
I strongly believe that selective breeding is the future of this hobby and industry, and we will strive to continually improve the genetics and visuals of any projects we put our minds to.
– Chris and Connie