My name is Michael Sanders. I am known as "HappyHillbilly" on the few forums that I participate on, which are mostly reptile forums. I've always had a passion for animals so I feel truly blessed to be where I am today, with the opportunity to work with them full time.

I live near the city of Murphy, NC, in the tri-state area of North Carolina, Georgia & Tennessee. I've been here for 17yrs, after having spent the majority of my first 34yrs of my life in my hometown - Apopka, FL. Some people think that I would have outgrown my passion for reptiles well before now, 51yrs of age, but I hope I never outgrow it.

My passion for snakes began when I was 6yrs old, when I caught my first snake, a yellow rat snake, in my yard in Central Florida. It was longer than I was tall, but as a foolish child, I knew no fear and I was beaming with pride while making my rounds to each neighbor's house to show it off.

I mostly kept local Colubrids for the first several years. I began keeping Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Burmese Pythons & Boas at 15yrs of age. All throughout my youth & adult life I've explored, and thoroughly enjoyed, the exotic animal world with the keeping of various exotic animals. Snakes, lizards, birds, and mammals. Today, 45 years after I caught my first snake, the passion is still strong.

Over the years I've seen a great need to educate keepers and the general public about these intriguing animals. I do educational shows wherever/whenever I get a chance. I strongly believe that educating the public is the only way to save our hobby.

Though snakes are the main animals I work with at this time, I also work with a variety of animals. I love all animals, great & small. I also keep a few lizard species (monitors, geckos, bearded dragons), but I'm not breeding any of them at the moment. I have bred German Shepherd dogs over the last 10-plus years. I breed rodents & rabbits as well.

Last Updated: May 10, 2012