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. In 2019 I quit my full time job to pursue my business on a full time basis. I now dedicate 100% time, energy, and resources into the animals and operation. The benefits have been astounding. The animals are healthier and breeding trials have been yielding 90% success.
Going back to the start, I grew 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 Eugenes' principles, techniques, and a lot of his cages!
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.
In the past 10 years I have been a featured guest on Morelia Python Radio (2 times), and Gecko Nation Radio. The Smithsonian channel documentary "The Worlds Biggest Beasts" filmed my facility and animals on site, as an example of modern giant snakes compared to prehistoric Titanaboa. Its a very interesting program if you get a chance, check it out.
Of course, none of this would be near as enjoyable without my wife Nicole. As the webmaster, giant snake bag sewing queen, 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.