Collectors spend thousands on designer snakes

Global Business

They’re called Pastels, Bumblebees, Spiders and Piebalds and they can fetch thousands of dollars a piece. You wouldn’t be able to tell what these are by their names unless you’re a fan of designer snakes.

CCTV America’s Lining Tan reports from New Hampshire.
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Collectors spend thousands on designer snakes

The renown snake breeder and author Kevin McCurley turned a childhood hobby of collecting pythons into a profession, and helped launch an industry along the way. CCTV America's Lining Tan reports.

From eggs to hatch-lings, shy adolescents to amorous adults, Kevin McCurley watches over his collection of pythons, looking for genetic traits that would set one apart from the rest.

But in Kevin’s world of pythons, the weirder the better.

Considered a pioneer of the designer snake industry, Kevin has run New England Reptile Distribution, or NERD for short, for more than 20 years, and now houses around 6,000 snakes in this 14,000 square foot building in New Hampshire.

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Part of the appeal for ball pythons is that they are non-venomous. In fact, ball pythons are among the most docile breeds of snakes.

Once highly lucrative, the industry peaked around 2010, before more breeders saturated the market, and before state laws became more restrictive.

The good news for NERD, though, is that it’s seeing growing demand from abroad, from as far away as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Japan, and China.