Nail tech Linsey Stinson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has always shared an affinity for animals with her husband, who is especially fond of reptiles. “We wanted to own different kinds because they all have something so unique about them, whether it’s the color or the size, or even the pattern, temperament, and personality,” she says. “We started buying everything in pairs, like a little Noah’s Ark.” Stinson and her husband decided to start breeding the reptiles 12 years ago, after friends in the reptile industry expressed interest in the different species the Stinsons were keeping, some of which were harder to find in Canada.
The Stinsons’ current collection includes over 40 different animals, among them six species of snakes, uromastyx lizards, blue tongue skinks, and tortoises. Creating the perfect environment for each species and making sure the animals are happy can be challenging. “Every species we have comes from a different locality in the world, so we need to mimic those conditions (terrain, temperature, humidity levels, etc.) to make it easy for them to procreate,” she explains. “It’s really cool to see how different reptiles bring their babies into the world, whether it’s through laying eggs or live birth.” Depending on which reptiles breed, there may be as many as 80 babies at time. The Stinsons attend reptile expos to sell their reptiles and educate potential owners, and they also have a website (www.bluetongueexotics.com) and Facebook page (@yycbluetongue) where potential purchasers can contact them.
Stinson is bringing her love of reptiles to the next generation, as well. “Our young daughters love all the different animals we have, and help us take care of them,” she says. “We believe in fostering a love for all different kinds of animals, not just the furry ones. Every species has something different to offer.”