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As her tail glided across the tile floor, the light scratchy sound alerted them of her approach. Cautiously surveilling her surroundings, she would stop every couple of feet before continuing on her original path. Every so often, you would hear her hiss if you caught her off guard. Keiko would walk over to her, rub her rough, scaly back and wait to see what she would do. Most of the time, she would sit still and smile at her with her long, pointed teeth or she would bob her head slightly up and down, so I understood she was thirsty. Keiko's first pet was “Smiley”, a 4ft American Alligator. She has spent many years together alongside other reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and mammals. She spent the first 18 years of her life standing behind her parent’s captive born reptile store counter selling and educating thousands of people from different countries and backgrounds on the proper husbandry of the animals she grew up taking care of and breeding. From adults getting their 100th python to children wanting their first quarter-sized turtle, she educated them all. Entertained by crickets and rodents at an early age, she learned quickly I had a very unique perspective and understanding of many rare types of animals. Spending years learning and sharing with others her passion and understanding of animals are the reasons that Keiko chose to pursue advanced biology degrees at both Miami University and University of Hawaii.


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