We’re located in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona so we’re pretty used to reptilian neighbors. One of our local customers caught our eye recently because of the interesting name of the business, Radical Reptile Fun. We caught up with Mike McAllister, co-owner of this business along with his girlfriend and fellow reptile enthusiast Tegan, to talk about the entertaining and quirky side of reptiles as they are the stars of this show. Here’s what he had to say:
Would you tell us what Radical Reptile Fun is about?
ike McAllister - Radical Reptile Fun is the most affordable reptile experience in Arizona. We bring reptiles to birthdays, schools and any event and make sure kids get an up close experience with the reptiles. We are about promoting education of up to day knowledge of our scaly friends. Our biggest goal is conservation of reptile species and showing that they have a place in the world and they are just misunderstood.
Radical Reptile Fun Birthday Party
How has the company evolved since you first went into business?
M.M.- We started out slow with only 20 reptiles with just the general 1 hr. show. We’ve gotten to know our customers and now we have 6 different shows with a 7th coming up in the fall. We have gotten to the point where word of mouth is our biggest asset.
What do you feel is the most important thing for people to understand about reptiles?
M.M. - That they have a place in this world and as long as they are respected and understood we can coexist. The most common question I get is "Will it bite me?" I want to change that aspect on reptiles. I don’t want your first question to be this when I bring out a snake. I want your first question to be a positive one like "where is that from" or "why does it have those colors?"
Hopal the Albino Burmese Python
What do you think is the fundamental difference between people that love animals with scales versus fur?
M.M. - We are just so used to seeing animals with fur that we know them all. You see a giraffe or a lion you automatically know what it is. However I can bring out several snake species of different colors, patterns, and shapes and you have no idea what it is except that it’s just a snake.
Radical Reptile Fun is also a reptile rescue, would you elaborate on that?
.M.- We do rescue reptiles. The word is used generally. Most of our rescues are animals that have been taken care of extremely well by previous owners. Most of the time the kids have gotten bored of it and the parents just don’t want to take care of it. We do have some banged up rescue animals but we provide them a good home. We do rehome our rescues but usually to private individuals who we trust. WE DO NOT RESELL OUR RESCUES and we are proud to say that. A lot of "rescues" just take in animals and flip them for a profit, we don’t do that. We only sell animals we have personally bought or bred.
Hubert Cumperdale the Crested Gecko also known as the Eyelash Gecko.
What advice would you give to someone looking to have a reptile or other exotic creature as a pet?
M.M. - READ, READ, READ. The more you look up the animal and read about that animal you obtain all the knowledge about how to care for the animal. Also make sure you have a plan. If the animal is going to get big make sure you know what you’re going to do ahead of time before it gets big.
What’s the strangest rescue creature you’ve taken in?
M.M. - We took in some tarantulas that were rescued from a friend of mine. She got them from a school that was done doing venom testing and was going to euthanize them.
Rose Hair Tarantula
Why did you order custom t-shirts?
M.M. - We have had sooooo many customer requesting us to provide T shirts for our business. So we listened and so far we have delivered. Out of all the t shirt sites we picked you all because you were the most affordable and didn’t have silly clauses after buying t shirts nor did you screw us over in shipping cost! Even when there was a minor problem you fixed it completely and timely that we were extremely impressed. Can't wait for our next order!
Custom Printed Tee Shirt