Joined 4 years ago
Hello, We have been breeding bearded dragons professionally for 14 years now as Fire and Ice Dragons. But it all started long before that! I have raised reptiles and amphibians since I was 5 and caught my first toad. I was totally hooked. By the time I was 17, I held permits as a wildlife rehabilitator for the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Department of Natural Resources. I worked at what is now the Maryland Zoo. Then spent some time as Executive Director of a 5013C non-profit which integrated wildlife rehabilitation with wildlife management issues and education. Throughout this period of time, I had the opportunity to learn large collection management techniques from some amazing people. In fact, a lot of folks have contributed to our operations over the years, whether it is our veterinary network, zoo or aquarium personnel, other reptile breeders, the folks at Reptiles Magazine or industry people. Asking questions and seeing the facility through the eyes of others also helps us constantly improve in producing the most beautiful dragons possible while also maintaining vigor and health. Many breeders become myopic about color and do not assess their potential breeding stock critically for other aspects such as balance and size. Once I was in my early twenties, my personal reptile collection truly began. I started with various colubrids. By my late twenties I added chameleons, including one of the first Nosy Be Chameleons imported at the time. My children were obviously raised around wildlife and reptiles. So when my daughter turned 12, she wanted a bearded dragon. For 6 years, I watched her bond with this animal grow. When she went off to college, the dragon held his head down and refused to eat. You know, my background was such that I felt pretty confident of being able to care for her dragon with no problem. Well, this dragon wanted nothing to do with me. Here I am, a 20 year herpetoculturist and I am totally mystified. But this dragon looked... depressed. There was no other explanation. I called my daughter to clue her in. She drove straight home that night. As soon as she walked through the door, this little dragon lifted his head, pawed at the glass for her and ate from her hand. I remember my shock while trying to get my head around the fact that this scaled creature, was displaying happiness. Bearded Dragons became a part of our lives ever since. Even after 12 years of breeding, the dragons never cease to amaze me with their intelligence, emotions and beauty.
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