After almost 20 years of living with roommates, Warren Taylor has decided it’s time for them to move out.
Taylor is seeking new digs for three large boa constrictors, a jungle carpet python and a double-crested green basilisk lizard named Miracle — pets he adopted during his career as an animal curator at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights.
“It’s very hard to give up my reptiles — my passion for almost 20 years,” said Taylor, 63, who retired from the museum in 2008. “Working in a museum setting was always about educating people and inspiring kids about the natural world, using reptiles as the catalyst.”
After leaving the museum, he continued to show his snakes at schools, parties and other events around the city.
“But I’m getting older and can’t race around to events anymore, lugging heavy snakes,” he said. “There’s no reason to keep them if I can’t share them with people.”
Taylor, who is single and lives in an apartment on the north shore of Staten Island, is looking for good homes for the five cold-blooded creatures through word of mouth and classified ads.
The four snakes — all captive-bred and non-venomous — live in individual 55-gallon tanks placed throughout Taylor’s apartment.
Elvis, a rare, exquisitely patterned Dumeril boa native to Madagascar, “is really gentle and mellow,” said Taylor, who raised the snake from a hatchling. “It was a labor of love — I worked very hard to acclimate him” to human handling.
Elvis is now 12 years old and 5 feet long. “I’ll miss him,” Taylor said.
His oldest boa, Odessa, is 15 years old, “big, strong and almost 9 feet long,” but with a “gentle temperament.”
Dionysus, a 16-year-old python native to Australia’s northwest rainforest, is a “highly prized snake” because he’s only 5 feet long — small for a python — and “would be great for breeding,” said Taylor.
A 14-year-old boa named Mr. Olympia is “really gentle and calm.”
Taylor named his 13-year-old basilisk lizard “Miracle” because the iguana “was the last one out of a clutch I hatched.”
Taylor’s professional career stands in contrast to his first encounter with a snake, at his family’s summer home in Susquehanna, Pa., when he was 7 years old and was “startled and frightened” to find a big water snake under his bed.
He knew he had to overcome his fear of snakes when he landed his Brooklyn Children’s Museum gig in 1988.
Taylor says he’s in no big rush to evict his pals (even though pythons, boas and iguanas technically fall on the city’s list of prohibited pets).
“I’ll keep them for as long as it takes.