Miles of Exotics in Kansas City
PEOPLE MAGAZINE December 1995
- Unnatural Selection : People.com
Collectors Find Mark Miles's Uniquely Hued Snakes Perfectly Charming
Exotic Animals in Kansas City
The first thing you notice when you walk into Miles of Exotics in Kansas City, Missouri are the bunnies, ferrets, hamsters and birds. Just a few feet further, and you will meet Little Orphan Annie and Andy, the albino Burmese pythons. Annie was a rescued python who was skinny and docile when she was brought to Mark Miles at his store in 2009. She is just over fourteen feet long and is still as gentle as the day she arrived. Andy, is a mere ten feet long and is just as accommodating as Annie. Living right next door to Annie and Andy are Rhonda and Ethel, the anacondas and Corinne, the labyrinth Burmese python. They may seem imposing to some people but snakes and reptiles are as natural to the staff as the bunnies and hamsters are to me.
New Hatchlings as of 7/17/2012Click thumbnail to view full-size
When Mark Miles opened his store in 1994, he may may not have imagined lodging hundreds of snakes. He was an auto mechanic who loved snakes. Now, he cannot imagine his life without breeding snakes. As an accomplished breeder, he is well known for breeding many different snakes but his specialty and his true passion, is pythons. Mark has bred many types of ball pythons amongst which he feels his more rare breeds are the ring pythons, green tree pythons and carpet pythons. He has a set of hatchlings on display in a showcase and I was lucky enough to be able to see the tip of a hatchling nose as it was ready to poke out of the shell. Mark was breeding blue eyed lucys (blue eyed leucistic) before they were a commonly bred snake. It seems that Mark has more than a knack for breeding. In 1995 People Magazine wrote an article about Mr. Miles. It highlights the history of how Mark took the plunge into opening Miles of Exotics. See Article.
Mr Miles is hoping that his next adventure will be sending his beloved 12 year old Aldabra tortoise, who Liz has aptly named Littlefoot, off to the Tulsa Zoo to begin the breeding process. Mark is currently in the process of negotiating a breeder rental loan for Littlefoot. If the arrangement is successful, Mark believes she will be on an extended visit to the Tulsa Zoo, perhaps 2-3 years, in order for the breeding process to be successful. However, the Aldabra breeding possibility is still in its earliest stages. I will continuously update this sight about the progress of the beloved Littlefoot!
The Exotics Staff
Upon meeting the staff at Miles of Exotics, one thing that is clear is that they know a lot about the care of pets. They are well versed on all things reptile, fish, birds, geckos, hamsters, bunnies, ferrets, feeding, lighting, heating, care and maintenance. Liz explained that it takes nearly three full days and several staff members to keep the tanks as healthy as they are. The selection of fish ranges from tropical to marine. During my tour, Liz and Ally were a virtual wealth of information. The entire staff is friendly, helpful and always happy to answer any questions!
I asked the Miles' crew about their rarest exotic animal and they informed me that they have a customer who likes to bring in his marmoset when he needs supplies. They don't suggest that the average person own a marmoset as primates are not suggested for house pets. Ally and Liz agreed that the king pin ball python Mark had bred was pretty cool too.
Cool creatures at Miles of Exotics
One thing that is clear about Mr. Miles is that he is a "low profile" kind of guy. It's really about breeding pythons. Perhaps that's why he's as well known as he is. He is truly a nice person and so are the people working for him. It's clear from the moment you walk in that they genuinely care about animals. I couldn't help but recognize that they weren't trying to sell sell sell. It was more important that the conditions and the situation be correct before they sell an animal. I inquired about trends in selling, perhaps selling more bunnies around Easter? Liz and Ally explained that there are certain trends that take place seasonally however, they work very hard to inform every customer about all aspects of owning and maintaining a pet before it leaves the store. The best parts about Miles of Exotics are that you can find everything you need right there in one spot, the prices are great and the staff gives excellent customer service!
Caroline and the Snake Whisperer
Three years ago I purchased a ball python from Miles of Exotics for my kids. I was lucky enough to have Liz explain in detail exactly how to care for and keep this lovely creature. She has been a wonderful addition to our family. Over the course of the last three years, I have purchased feeder mice and rats from Miles of Exotics. More recently, Caroline went into a six month fasting period. We tried everything we could think of to get her to eat and used every suggestion they gave us at Miles of Exotics. Finally, I was lucky enough to see Mr. Miles at his store one day and asked him for help. He told me not to worry, it's normal for snakes to fast in the winter months but to bring my snake in the next time I had a chance and he would look at her. Of course, I rushed home and brought her back immediately. He told me to leave her overnight and he would make sure she had a meal. I was relieved to say the least. Four hours later, I returned to check on any progress. (helicopter mom) Mr. Miles stopped what he was doing, grabbed a feeder rat and went into his magical snake lair. He returned within minutes only to show me a photo of Caroline, my ball python, wrapped around the rat, enjoying her meal. Liz and I spoke in unison, "snake whisperer." Mr Miles would never take that sort of credit but after years of working with snakes, breeding, feeding, raising and housing them it's certainly apparent that he speaks their language fluently.
What is your favorite pet?
Miles of Exotics gives tours to kids, school groups and of course, customers. Additionally, they bring their beautiful exotics to schools for presentations. They are open every day of the week and there isn't a question they won't find an answer for! Stop in and check out the creatures and the phenomenal service they offer. You'll be glad you did!
Miles of Exotics
Miles of Exotics