Hi, I'm Chris Cannarozzi, President of Mystic Reptiles, LLC. I have been a reptile enthusiast since 1983, and in 2006 turned my hobby into this business.
Growing up in Hollywood Florida, my first snake was a boa constrictor that I got from the mall pet store. There were no regulations at the time, and a kid could come home with a Burm or Retic. I was hooked on Boids from the start. From there, the only time I didn't catch or keep reptiles is when I served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
While attending the University of Florida (B.S. entomology), I was fortunate enough to take a grad level Herpetology course taught by Dr. Wayne King and Dr. Max Nickerson. That class was instrumental in broadening my scope of understanding for all reptiles. During that time, I also worked under Eugene and Cindy Bessette at Ophiological Services. For 3 years there, I gained valuable experience working with a variety of different species- but mainly Burmese pythons. My operation is rooted in Genes' principles and techniques. I am also fortunate to have befriended Bob Guerriere (Ancient Reproductions). Bob knows snake farming, and has generously imparted his knowledge over the years.
Our 1,200 sq ft facility is located in the small town of Waldo, Florida just outside of Gainesville. We have a pecan orchard, fruit trees, and lots of grass to mow! And I can't imagine doing it any other way. We maintain several species of constrictors, but Reticulated pythons and Carpet pythons are our passion. I enjoy the challenge of keeping these awesome animals in captivity. Snake breeding is hard work! The satisfaction lies in growing a healthy collection which will not only thrive due to your efforts, but reproduce as well.
Over the past 7 years, our business has grown to a comfortable level. We have enough animals to be constantly busy. But no so many as to be neglectful. Since 2006, I believe we've accomplished our goals of treating our customers right, and supplying snakes in a professional way. In the future, we plan to branch out of the southeast a bit, and attend more expos around the country. In the distant future, we look to possibly obtain a CITIES permit, and enter into the global market.
We will continue to reinvest, and bring exciting new morphs to the market. And in a small way, make a difference by captive propagation of rare or "hard to breed" species. I have great respect for all the pioneers of herpetoculture, who years ago were just trying to figure out how to keep these exotics alive. Because of their efforts, we know so much more in regards to reptile husbandry and their popularity has soared.
When I’m not farming snakes, I love the woods and natural environment through hiking, camping, and herping. I also have an interest in the Civil War era of our country and enjoy learning what I can on that subject. Another favorite pastime is participating in college sports through the comfort of my couch, TV and cold beverage.
Of course, none of this would be near as enjoyable without my wife Nicole. As the webmaster and official snake sexer (she is way better at popping than me!), she is the reason I stick it out and still do what I do. For without her patience, understanding, and support
(ie: using the house as a quarantine room!), none of this would be possible.