Ray has been keeping reptiles for over 32 years. From the age of 6 he has been interested in everything reptilian.
Growing up in the Illawarra south coast of NSW influenced his evolving interest in herpetology. Always outdoors, young Ray could be found looking for and collecting reptiles and, when camping with his Grandfather in the bush, he would be catching or studying reptiles in their own environments and learning in order to understand them better.These reptiles included venomous & non venomous species of snake as well as many species of lizard, turtle & frog.The snake species included tiger, eastern brown, red bellied black, diamond python, carpet python and several lizard, turtle & frog species such as blue tongue, shingle back lizard, bearded dragon, water dragon, long necked turtle & green tree frog.
Rather than thwart his interest in reptiles, his parents encouraged him to read about and watch documentaries on the subject, telling him that, if he was going to do something, he should research it and do it well.As Ray’s experience developed, he began to breed various reptiles at home and hence earned the nickname of “Snakey”.After joining his local reptile rehabitation group, he learnt to care for rescued, sick or injured reptiles and has continued to do this now for over twenty years. From the age of fourteen, he has been called out, first by friends or neighbours, but now as a vocation, to remove snakes from peoples’ properties, barns and animal enclosures.“To this day, I have never been bitten by anything venomous” he says with pride.
Ray loves what he does and has recently taken on the further role of educator, teaching various community groups about the important place that snakes inhabit in our ecosystem as well as conducting safety awareness workshops and supplying reptile equipment, accessories and food to other reptile enthusiasts.
Always happy to consult, Ray will help anyone willing to learn from him.Ray’s three children, aged five to twelve all look like following in their dad’s footsteps.