Meet the Staff: Jon Blakemore – May 2013

by Jennifer Greene

1. So what is your current job position?  How long have you worked at LLLReptile?  What were you hired as?

Currently: Breeding facility manager.  Worked here? Over 10 years, a long time!  Starting position was reptile specialist and clerk and cage cleaner!

2. Which store did you first start shopping at?  Was that the same store you began working at?

At the time I began, we only had the Oceanside store – so that’s where I shopped at, which was in its old location, over at 609 mission avenue.  Because it was the only one, that’s where I started working at.

3. What was your first reptile?  Do you still have it?

Kingsnake, wildcaught California kingsnake, I was in my early teens and caught it.  No, I don’t have it anymore, had to let it go because my mom wouldn’t let me keep it.

4. What do you keep at home now?
Phelsuma klemmeri are currently the only reptiles I have at home.

5. Do you have a favorite reptile?  Why that one?  Has it changed over the years?
I would have to say that I’m very partial to leachianus geckos.  The overall size of them, and the fact that they were so rare to see when we first started got me very interested in them. And they were probably one of the first animals I really started breeding, so they will always have a special place in my heart.

6. What do you do for fun outside of work/reptiles?

I’m a father, constantly in an adventure with my children.  I am also a musician, currently in the band Oceanside Sound System, and I’ve been playing music and touring for the entire time I’ve been a part of LLLReptile!  I also love to surf and skate here in Southern California, and I am a practitioner of the martial art of Muay Thai.

7. What are your favorite bands?  One CD everyone should absolutely listen to at least once?

Open to many genres of music, but I’m a punk rocker at heart.  For me, I think bands like Black Flag are essential if you’re going to be a youth, especially in Southern California.
At least one time in their life, everyone should listen to Bad Brains, Banned in DC.

8. Craziest/funniest work story:

Probably one of the worst ones was cleaning our massive amount of rodents, an employee that was working at the time opened one of the drawers above me and it was full of water that had gotten clogged in the line.  The drawer opened and I was covered head to toe in a liquid mixture of water, feces, and rodent bedding.  I actually had to drive home half naked to change.

9. Are you scared of anything? Any (ANY!) animal you absolutely won’t touch/work with?

I fear nothing.

10. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone new in the hobby? 
Remember why you got into the hobby in the first place – because you have a love for reptiles. Don’t let it just become a job.