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Affinities #22: Cold-Blooded Companions

Snakes for the memories. 

Melissa Page

(1 of 8)

Juliett Caylor

(2 of 8)

Emilio Yepez

(3 of 8)

Leroy Fisher

(4 of 8)

Lance Weaver

(5 of 8) 

Melissa Ezell-Moore

(6 of 8)

Kayla Deliso

(7 of 8)

Katie Mamlok

(8 of 8)

 

See all the Affinities photo shoots here.

As a child, Lance Weaver was a die-hard dinosaur lover. “Then I realized that reptiles were still alive,” he says gleefully, “and I could play with them!” Now 25, Weaver has amassed a collection of over two dozen snakes (he has a penchant for exotic pythons), all living luxuriously in heated cages. “One of the best compliments I ever got was that my bedroom looks like a museum,” he says.

He isn’t alone in his reptilian fascination: The Bay Area is home to hundreds of large-snake lovers, many of whom congregate at herpetological societies in the North Bay, the Central Valley, and the Peninsula. (San Francisco Animal Care & Control, on the other hand, prohibits owning constrictors.) On warmer days, Weaver and his friends like to take their pythons, boa constrictors, and corn snakes out for a slither in Golden Gate Park, where the group aims to show interested passersby how undeserving snakes are of their fearsome rap. In fact, they say, captive snakes make calming, meditative pets and, unlike your needy dog, require feeding only once a week (rats, if you’re wondering).

Even the most dreaded scenario—a snakebite—has been overblown, says Weaver. “My cats have done far more damage than my snakes ever have.”

 

Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco.

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