You'd think that almost being bitten by a 9-foot-long python would turn Kyle Mays running for the door. But for some reason, the Woodberry resident has continued working at Baltimore's National Aquarium for five years.
"I have always wanted to work with animals and teach. I get to do both at the aquarium," said, Mays, 29, one of two herpetologists at the exhibit "Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes." Some of his day-to-day responsibilities include taking care of the reptiles and amphibians such as Australian freshwater crocodiles, flying foxes, which are a type of fruit bat, and freshwater whip rays. Mays stopped hanging out with his animals for a bit to talk about growing beards, green bean casserole, and his favorite spot in the exhibit.
Worst pet peeve? People that stop at the end of a ramp when there is a yield sign. "Yield" means yield to other traffic not stop to see if there is traffic coming.
What's on your iPod? I don't have an iPod or computer, just my cell phone, and I'd like to get rid of that and go back to a house phone.
Your worst habit? Growing a beard every year that my wife hates.
Funny or crazy stories about working with animals? One morning I was putting our python back in her exhibit when she tried to bite. Luckily I saw it coming and jumped back but she still managed to bite the zipper of my shorts.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Those big, bug eyed sunglasses women wear.
Last movie you liked/disliked? Just watched"Prometheus" — not great but a good movie.
Last video that made you snort with laughter? Almost everything on"Tosh.0"
Favorite spot at the Aquarium? The top of the cliff in "APA: WE." You can see all of the exhibit, the harbor, and the guests in the exhibit having fun.
TV shows you can't get enough of? I'm on Netflix watching all the sci-fi shows I missed while in college when I did not have cable.
Last great meal you had? The same meal my family has every year onNew Year's Day: home-made pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. My grandmother ferments the sauerkraut herself.
Food you hate? I hate green bean casserole. It has the strangest texture of any food I know.
Favorite place to get a drink? Mex's after work because the bartenders know what I drink and get it [ready for me] before I sit down. I can't [also] wait until Mt. Washington Tavern is re-opened.
Favorite quote/saying? "The Dude abides."
Favorite thing about Baltimore? Obviously, the National Aquarium.
AS TOLD TO JACLYN PEISERCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times