Sophomore snuggles with snakes


Tiger Paw Yearbook

Lauren Boitano (10) poses with her boa constrictor that she brought to science club on Oct. 30.

Many students have dogs or cats for pets, but Lauren Boitano (10) prefers animals that are a bit more unique.

In March 2017, Boitano adopted her first reptile–a bearded dragon named Jim. Since then, she has taken in six more reptiles, including a red iguana, a crested gecko, several pythons, and a boa constrictor.

“I think they get a bad rap and it’s interesting–all the care that goes into them,” said Boitano.

Her favorite pet is her boa constrictor. The snake was rescued from a home that overfed her to the point of it being dangerous to her health. The snake is young, but is already about the size of a full-grown python.

“She’s big and I can carry her around,” Boitano said. “It sounds selfish but I like her because she doesn’t really like anyone else.”

On Oct. 30, Boitano brought several reptiles in to science club for the students to get to see. Some of the animals came from “Exotic Arc,” which is a reptile and amphibian center where Boitano volunteers. Many of the students were thrilled about getting to meet the animals and one science club member, Sheldon Salins (12) even went out and bought a ball python afterwards.

Boitano hopes to be a veterinarian someday because of her love for animals. “I just think reptiles are extremely interesting and versatile and you never know how they’re going to act.”