By joining a local herpetological society you’ll have access to expert snake keepers, breeders, biologists, zoologists and others who have an interest in pet snakes. There are 3 reasons to join.
What is a herpetological society?
A herpetological society is a club of reptile and amphibian enthusiasts that meet at designated times, dates, and locations to talk about these amazing animals. People from all walks of life participate, including the experts I mentioned before. But if that doesn’t convince you and you need more reasons to join consider these:
It is educational
You’ll learn more about keeping pet snakes in a few hours talking to experts and fellow hobbyists than you’ll learn by trial and error on your own. It’s like having a mini internship. To make the most of your experience you should:
- Prepare your questions ahead of time:
Go knowing what questions you want to ask, find the appropriate person, and ask.
- Bring something to write with:
Bring a pad and pen to write things down. There’s a lot of knowledge to be found so take advantage of it.
- Be well rested when you arrive:
Education takes energy and you want to absorb as much information as you can. Being mentally alert is a must if you want to benefit from your attendance at a meeting.
It develops important relationships
The people in herpetological societies can become lifelong friends and sources of information. Imagine being able to email a zoologist and asking him/her about how to optimize the husbandry in your snakes tank? There are all kinds of relationships that can be cultivated within a herpetological society.
- Bring business cards:
When you attend a meeting bring 50 or 100 business cards with you. Even if you don’t have a business get some printed out (they’re cheap) and hand them out to people you think you want to talk more with
- Collect business cards:
When you talk to people ask for a business card or their contact information. Most will be happy to give it to you. If someone won’t just thank them and move on.
- Talk to people:
You have something in common with everyone who is a member of a herpetological society, reptiles and/or amphibians. Take that commonality and talk to people and develop relationships with them.
It will be fun
Last and certainly not least is the fact that you’ll have fun. Every herpetological society is different but often you’ll have contest, free give aways, field herping expeditions, workshops (learning to build your own terrarium is pretty fun). Not every society will do all of those so ask specifically about what you are interested in. But even if the only thing they do is get together for coffee and donuts once a month and talk about their pet snakes for an hour it’s still nice to meet like minded people in person.