About The Breeder
Kimberly Burge, owner of Southern Chondros.
If I could encourage potential chondro owners to do one thing, it would be to purchase your new chondro from a reputable breeder rather than supporting the importation of “farm bred” chondros, the majority of which are wild-caught.
Kimberly Burge has been an avid animal lover since her earliest memories of childhood. Her passion for reptiles, specifically snakes, started with an encounter with a garter snake in the backyard of her childhood home as a very young child. Her parents had previously instructed her to not touch a snake, and to inform an adult if she ever came across one. Finding herself standing next to a snake one afternoon, she yelled “Snake!” Her father came out to investigate and took the time to explain more about the snake to her. That first positive encounter planted a seed that grew into a lifelong fascination and consuming passion.
It was not long before she was coming home with (literally) handfuls of snakes of various types from the local area. Since she was not allowed to keep them in the house at that time, they were temporarily kept outdoors to be observed, cared for, and then released. Her parents helped to instill in her an understanding of the importance of wild animal populations and how she would adversely affect them if she were to permanently remove animals from the wild.
It was not until middle school when she became a Junior Curator at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences that she kept exotic animals as pets. If there was an animal in need of a home, Kimberly would be the first to volunteer to give it one. It was during this time that her true passion for reptiles and amphibians was solidified.
Since she was a child, upon seeing photographs in books and being immediately fascinated, she loved “those green snakes with the perfectly looped coils around branches.” If she had only known where that interest would lead!
One of her first jobs was an Assistant Curator within the Living Collections department at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Two adult green tree pythons became available while she was working there. Thanks to the herpetologist at the time, Dave Davenport, she was able to give a home to those two beautiful animals. There began her insatiable passion for chondros. She quickly learned that there is no turning back once you have one!
Finding the ChondroForum online, Kimberly was able to meet some well-respected breeders and other chondroheads. Absorbing all the information she could gather, it was not too long afterwards that she really wanted to try her hand at breeding. It was then that Southern Chondros was born.
Officially in operation since 2005, Southern Chondros’ collection has grown to include a wide variety of chondros, from “entry level” to some of the finest “high-end designer” animals. The continual goal is to produce quality captive born and bred green tree pythons that the discerning collector/breeder will want to add to their collection, while also producing “entry level” chondros for beginner keepers who, wisely, do not want to start out by purchasing farm bred, mainly wild-caught animals.
Kimberly attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia where she obtained a B.S. in Biology. Although herpetology was not a specific study option at SBC, she chose the local herp populations as study subjects for her research and photography. She has kept close ties with the biology department and occasionally returns as a guest instructor. She is a certified NC Environmental Educator, has been an instructor at an Advanced Training Rally for Virginia Master Naturalists, and is a leader of a mark-recapture box turtle study on NC State University’s campus with the Box Turtle Connection project.
Kimberly lives in NC with her Australian-born husband, Christian, her two young daughters, and a few other critters. She left her most current job as a wildlife conservation educator for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to be a stay-at-home mom in 2013. Kimberly is actively involved in the Executive Council of the NC Herpetological Society and is the webmaster for the herp society and Project Bog Turtle. She is the current Chair of the Outreach and Education Committee for NCPARC and is a member of USARK. Kimberly creates a “Chondro Calendar” each year from a photography contest on the Morelia viridis forum to help financially support the forum. Her longtime passions for horseback riding/teaching and getting outside with her family to poke around with her herp stick and camera take up the rest of her “free” time.
We hope you enjoy your time visiting this site. Feel free to contact Kimberly if you have any questions.