Looking back on my old photos, I must of been only 3-4 years old holding blue tongue lizards and turtles.. As a child I'd always had a fascination for reptiles and dinosaurs; just for fun I would go bush walking with mates to see what lizards I could catch. These were the first reptiles I kept as pets. I can remember Dad letting me use the old swimming pool as an outdoor pit for the lizards. He also sunk and old bath-tub into the ground for my turtles to swim in.
There wasn't a lot of information on keeping these animals back in the 70's and 80's, but I read whatever articles and books that I could get my hands on in order to learn how to care for my reptiles, although most of my knowledge came through trial and error. I can remember going to local pet shops to look at the snakes, lizards and turtles they were selling. There were no restrictions back then and reptile keeper licenses weren't necessary. We were allowed to keep whatever we could afford to buy; which I did.
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This was where my hobby became a business venture; I started selling the baby reptiles to friends at school, and I discovered that I get just as much enjoyment teaching people how to care for these animals, as I do keeping them myself. I put whatever money I made towards improving the enclosures I had, and giving them a better environment to grow and breed in.
I started collecting different animals and my menagerie grew to include a range of species for snakes, lizards and turtles. Now with over 30 years experience behind me, I have a collection of over 300 reptiles. I am able to build tailor made enclosures for anything that I have. I know all there is to know about filtration systems for amphibians, how to build and wire up cages correctly for the reptiles, to converting old fridges into incubators for the eggs.
I am now able to enjoy my passion for reptiles due to my extensive knowledge that only comes with having long term experience in caring for them and I get to meet alot of people who share the same interest as I do. The best part about it is we all exchange methods and ideas to improve the health and quality of our favourite animals. Today my collection has grown to contain hundreds of reptiles. I care for and breed many species of snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles and dragons, all of which can be seen here.
I'm now a licensed reptile carer and I devote a lot of time looking after my animals and their habitats. I was the first breeder to successfully breed the Boyds Forest Dragon in captivity and I have supplied three major Australian Zoos with their first colonies. My collection still continues to grow and I now take great pride in being able to share my love and knowledge of reptile keeping with anyone who wants to learn!
Camo @ Camo's Reptiles