When Jennifer Lestage was 15 years old, she got a spotted python named Monty. She loved all animals but in particular, she had a soft spot in her heart for reptiles. Little did she know at the time, her love for reptiles would lead to her opening her business in 2012 in Black Creek, BC, Vancouver Island Creature Teachers.
VI Creature Teachers now have over 100 animals on the team, ranging from tarantulas and frogs, to lizards and a multitude of snake species. When Jennifer isn’t wrangling her reptiles on photoshoots and film sets, she’s out with her animals offering live interactive reptile shows in schools or for private events and parties.
I have to admit, when I heard that we were adding snakes to a BAHM photoshoot, I was very leery. I’ve always had a bit of a fear of snakes, but knew I had to put my fears on the back burner for this shoot. What I’d thought I’d experience, was nothing further from the truth. Jennifer’s snakes were extremely docile and calm animals. They loved to be handled and posed into the shots with the models. The models also had no fear of the snakes as the snakes also seemed to enjoy all the attention they were receiving. The flash also did not seem to bother them at all either.
She brought 3 snakes to the BAHM shoot that day.
Balerion is an Argentine Boa Constrictor. His original owner became homeless and was unable to care for him. He is the star large snake for birthday parties, school shows and other events. He has also done his part in helping people overcome their fear of snakes with his gentle disposition.
Jaymie is an Albino Boa Constrictor. His original owner accidentally poisoned him when a veterinarian prescribed the wrong kind of medication to treat his mites. He is a favourite among young children.
Izzy is an Okeetee Corn Snake. He was originally adopted from the Richmond Reptile Rescue to be a part of educational programs. Many snakes are given up due to their long commitment of 30+ years of care from their owner.
Jennifer and her team of reptiles made it really easy to add some edge to our photoshoot. If you’d like to get some “Snakes in Frame” contact Jennifer at VICreatureTeachers.com.