Robert Sousa's career all started at the age of 14 when he rescued a friend's unwanted pet- a Corn snake. That's when he began building his collection of exotics. At one time, he maintained and cared for a collection of more than 500 animals. That experience led to Robert serving as Vice President of the (now inactive) New York Herpetological Society. For just under a decade, Robert worked with them, breeding and selling his reptiles and working with the Center for Animal Care & Control Exotics Adoption Program in NYC. Throughout his career, Robert has also taught reptile awareness through seminars to NYC public school children, Boy Scouts, and other similar organizations.Currently, Robert's focus is working with a network of people that are striving to maintain regional variants of snakes from around the country as habitats continue to be replaced by housing and strip malls. Tune in to hear how reptiles differ from domestic animals in terms of their relationships with their owners. Hear some of Robert's wild snake and reptile rescue stories, and why so many reptiles are abandoned by their owners. Are reptiles good pets for children? Learn what environments are appropriate for snakes, and why snakes don't need exercise in the way that mammals do. Why doesn't Robert believe that turtles make good pets? Find out all of this and more on this week's edition of Animal Instinct! Thanks to our sponsor, Cain Vineyard & Winery. Music by Jack Inslee.

"It wasn't until the 60s that we tried to keep reptiles as pets and have them reproduce in captivity. Until that point, they were only kept for scientific research." [10:20]

"Reptile muscles don't atrophy in the way that mammals' do. They can sit motionless for weeks with no negative effect." [18:10]

-- Robert Sousa on Animal Instinct