TSK,Inc. or The Snake Keepers are the family of the Sutherlands; Dan, Colette and their four children, Joshua, Scott, Summer and Nicole. The love of snakes was in their lives long before Dan and Colette ever met. While kids they kept snakes that they would catch. Colette still has her childhood ball python Kashmire. She bought him when she was only 12 years old. He is a little slower now than he was years ago. Colette had completed her degree in Zoology just a year before she met Dan. When they were married Colette brought three snakes with her, Kashmire and a pair of adult albino corns. They began breeding kingsnakes and milksnakes and a few ball pythons. In 1989 The Snake Keeper was formed. Later in 1995 they sold off everything but the ball pythons and began concentrating only on Ball Pythons.
They started off just like many of you looking to get into the business now. Except back then there was no internet. They had to buy everything by making phone calls or just going to the shows. They used to buy their rodents from a reptile pet shop in the next town and would spend hours there just looking at the snakes and talking to the shop owners. They would go to breeder’s houses and visit with them and just talk about snakes. It was a great time with the likes of Bob Applegate and the late Lloyd Lemke. Both of which were always willing to share their knowledge with those just coming into the business. They always had a great time and seemed to always leave a little lighter in the wallet.
Since that time their collection has grown and they have been able to acquire many different morphs. In 1997 they were asked to write an article on Ball Pythons for the Reptiles USA 1998 Annual. They were very excited about this opportunity and Colette began to write the article. Click to read "Ball Python Basics".
After the article was published and with all the interest in the Internet, they decided to go "online" to further increase their ability to reach others interested in Ball Pythons. Being one of the first to venture online they got the name so many use today, Ballpython.com. The internet has been a big tool in their business. It is so much easier now to reach people all over the world.
California natives until recently in 2006 they moved to Mapleton Utah, one hour south of Salt Lake City. The breeding facility is now located in Spanish Fork Utah. Only about 8 miles from where they live. Not a long commute but it seems they go there several times a day. Together they do everything with the snakes and the rodents. Long days in the snake room are always rewarded in the baby season though.
They really have a passion for the reptiles they keep and want to see others succeed as they have. Give them a call; they seem to always have the time to spend a few minutes to help the new person out. They always try to answer all questions that are asked of them quickly and completely. They endeavor to produce healthy and aggressively feeding Ball Pythons.