2 Amazing Stories, 3 Incredible Supporters and More

Win for Herpers

As we all know the reptile community and industry is under constant attack by anti-pet and government organizations large and small. As many of you know, I have been struggling with my own problems with local animal control and today I’m proud to say that the longest two months of my life is finally over and we have prevailed! I want to take a chance and give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported me and my family. Thank you to the Hoosier Herp Society and USARK for their ongoing support. It comes from the bottom of my heart when I say it means the world just to have people there who understand and unselfishly step up and help in any way that they can. There is in no way I can ever repay you and those people know who they are. It is imperative that we fight small fights as well as the big ones. At some point they meet in the middle and at that meeting point is the end of the reptile nation. Support USARK, support your local herp societies and support each other! We only have one another and every voice counts! Let’s fight the good fight and keep the private ownership and captive breeding of reptiles, amphibians and arachnids alive. Passion will trump ignorance every time. Jay Brewer said to me that “no matter what happens, don’t let it change who you are.” And we will always have that. We are a unique breed born with a love for these animals. It’s who we are, and they can never take that away. - Chris Young

Brief history: Chris and his family had several reptiles seized from their home unjustly by local animal control officials. The above is a very recent update and we are very glad to report that Chris has been successful in his fight.

Herp Community Good Samaritan

An amazing story unfolded at the Reptile Super Show last weekend. A 13-year-old boy named Zayd Sheck came to the USARK booth to hand over a rosy boa he found in the lobby (misplaced in container by an attendee after purchase). After speaking with Zayd's mother, we found out that Zayd has been to many reptile shows this year following one certain boa constrictor bred by SoCal Constrictors and had been saving his money to buy the boa. He had saved enough for the snake but not enough to buy a cage, so he bought two raffle tickets for a snake kit at our booth and would be able to take the snake home if he won the kit. Dedicated USARK volunteer Lupe spoke with SoCal Constrictors and told them Zayd's story. SoCal Constrictors and USARK devised a plan to guarantee Zayd had an incredible day. At 3 o' clock, USARK held the drawing for the enclosure and Zayd did not win. Immediately following, USARK paged Zayd. When Zayd arrived at the USARK booth, he was presented with the boa from SoCal Constrictors and a ReptiHabitat Snake Kit from Zoo Med. This boy was given a great gift and his appreciation was evident. Needless to say, Zayd's mom had tears in her eyes and hugged nearly everyone in the room. Thank you SoCal Constrictors and Zoo Med for making this possible. We are a community of people and acts like this highlight the good within this community. A great story!

Reptile Super Show Recap
USARK sends highest appreciation to Ramy at the Reptile Super Show for allowing us the opportunity to exhibit at the show and spread awareness of what we do. Ramy also sponsored the USARK auction Saturday night, so all proceeds went to USARK and we raised over $9,100 for our cause thanks to the generous donations of the show vendors and the Reptile Super Show covering all expenses. The auction even featured an impromptu hot dog eating contest with first place taking home $100 from the Reptile Super Show and 2nd place receiving a donation from South Bay Tropical. Below is a list of all the amazing contributors. Thank you!

$2000+ : Reptile Super Show, Hardy Reptiles

$750+: Herp Nation Media, NoCo Reptiles

$500+ : Mist King, Heather's Herps, Layne Labs, Zoo Med, Serpents of the Damned, SoCal Constrictors

$200+ : 480 Pythons, Kammerflage Kreations, DartFrogConnection.com, Superior Balls & Dragons, South Mountain Reptiles, J & M Cages, Exo Terra, S.C.H.A.&R., Rick Sims, South Bay Tropical

$100+ : Hyper Reptiles, Dynamic Reptiles, DM Exotics, Pacific Coast Reptiles, World Serpent Exotics, SanTan Reptiles, Crested Mania, Carpy's Boas and Corns, TSK Supply, Jeff Luman Reptiles, Goss Reptiles, A.I.R. Exotics, JungleBox.net, Ecco Geckos, Amazing Blue Reptiles, Millipedes and More, FL Chams, DubiaRoaches.com, Rainbow Mealworms, Sticky Tongue Farms, Greathouse Farm, Tortoise Breeders, Michael Dee, Keith Morris, Bob Dole (aka Darren Polchow), Acrylic Reptile Cages, SLO Gecko, Reptile Avenue, Glo Gecko, Mike's Phat Frogs, Geckos Etc., Gex Wear

Other Contributions: Castles for Reptiles, Sandfire Dragon Ranch, GiantGeckos.com (Philippe de Vosjoli), F.U.I.B. Pets, Brother Boas, Sensational Pets, Paramount Pet Entertainment, Rising Sun Reptiles, Aqua Zamp, DIY Cages, Superior Shipping Supplies, Project Reptile, D & D Herps, Reptile Odyssey, Dubi Deli, KP's Critters, Black Panther Zoological, Serpent Stick, Zilla, Myke Clarkson, Jenny Lee, Scālz Fine Art, Armstrong Cricket Ranch

Auction Sponsor: The Reptile Super Show

Volunteers: Erin Sloan, Katy Bugler, Lupe, Isaiah, Carlos, Jason (SCHA&R), Erin Korec, Hannah, Bella, Reiner, Rebecca Clarkson, Heather, Kim, Nate

Thank you all for your support! Please let us know if we missed anyone.

Tracy Reptile Expo Recognition

USARK sends more appreciaton to Jeff and Erika, show promoters from the Tracy Reptile Expo. They allowed us to have a table that was covered by Edgar Ortega and the Central Valley Herpetological Society (CVHS). Jeff and Erika also raised over $1,100 for USARK at the show. They went above and beyond to gather donations and conduct a fundraiser. Thank you for your support and thank you for being supportive members of the herp community, Tracy Reptile Expo!

OKC Elite Reptile Show Recognition
Even more backing for USARK came from the OKC Elite Reptile Show, hosted by Brad and Johni Adkisson of Exotic Aquatics & More and Shawn Mullins of TopNotch Ball Pythons. The show promoters put together an auction and raised over $2,600 for USARK. Our sincerest gratitude goes to everyone for all your support and it drives us to continue to represent the entire herp community appropriately and professionally. We are fighting for everyone!

Remembering Steve Gott

The herp community suffered a huge loss recently with the untimely passing of Steve Gott. Steve was the Supervisor of Herpetology at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and was active in the local JZG AAZK chapter, spearheading the Keeper for a Day program. He was a wonderful colleague and loyal friend. He will be greatly missed. Steve was an active TSA member, recruiting new members when possible and educating the public on the plight of turtles globally. He also served on the board of the World Chelonian Trust. In May, Steve traveled to Belize to participate in a field research project, working with the Hicatee or Central American River Turtle (Dermatemys mawii), a species for which he maintained a special interest.

Steve's passion for chelonians was unsurpassed. For that reason, his family and friends have asked that gifts to the Turtle Survival Center be made in lieu of flowers. He was very excited about the new Turtle Survival Center in South Carolina, which will focus on captive breeding of endangered species of turtles, with a goal of zero turtle extinctions. We at the Turtle Survival Alliance are honored by the opportunity to help preserve Steve's memory in this way.Donations can be made at http://www.turtlesurvival.org/get-involved/steve-gott-memorium#.Unm7F3CmiSq. (Text and photo via previous link)
Upcoming Events
Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group (TTPG) Conference: The conference is November 14 and 15 in Mesa, AZ, and will feature talks on husbandry, medical care, incubation, enclosure design, care and breeding of turtles and tortoises. Registration is $120 for non-members and $80 for members. All registrants will receive: copy of THE COMPLETE BOX TURTLE, gift bags from Zoo Med, banquet, access to all talks, etc. Details at http://www.ttpg.org/conference2013.html. (Speaker list at bottom of page)

Phoenix Reptile Expo: Mesa, AZ on November 16-17 following the TTPG Conference: Details at www.PHXReptileExpo.comChristmas Croc Fest: December 7, 2013 at Shawn Heflick's Facility in Florida to raise money for the Jamaican population of Crocodylus acutus. Auction items can be shipped to Shawn Heflick, 240 Bay Tree Lane, Palm Bay, FL 32909. Advanced Tickets are $25 (payment to sheflick@aol.com via PayPal and write "Croc Fest" in the message). More information at https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheCrocodiles?ref=hl.

Bowling with Barczyk: Attend a bowling fundraiser featuring Brian Barczyk (BHB Reptiles and snakebytes.tv) and Loren Leigh (LLLReptile and Supply). Proceeds will be split between the Southern California Herp Association and Rescue (SCHAR) and USARK. The event will be held on Monday January 6, 2014 (this is the Monday following the Reptile Super Show) in Fullerton, CA. Get more details https://www.facebook.com/bowlingwithbarczyk.

Reptile Super Show: January 4-5, 2014 in Pomona, CA. This will be the largest and best Reptile Super Show as it takes over an even bigger venue. Get details at http://reptilesupershow.com/los-angeles/.

The NRAAC Reptile and Amphibian Law Symposium: Rescheduled for March 7-9, 2014. Details coming soon at http://www.nraac.org/symposium2013.html. "The reptile and amphibian law symposium at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., cancelled due to the federal government shutdown, has been rescheduled for March 7-9, 2014, at the same location. A revised schedule and panelist list will be posted for the 2014 event within the next few weeks as we confirm panelists and topics. To register for free, please use the online registration form at http://nraac.org/register and make sure to check back for future updates." - NRAAC

SEWERFEST Reptile Festival: November, 10, 2013 in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Details at http://www.sewerfest.com/.

Herp News (click photos for links)

Snakes control blood flow to aid vision:
Coluber flagellum ruddocki © 2012 Todd Battey

Scientists identify individual lizards by their irises:
Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi) © Luis Ferreira

Endangered tortoises receive new home thanks to Boy Scout:
Gopherus agassizii) © Nevada Department of Wildlife

Children devastated when herp presentation is cancelled

USARK Top Volunteers

A special thank you to Bella and Hannah for helping USARK by delivering items to winning bidders at our Reptile Super Show auction. They did a great job!
TTPG Speaker List
KEYNOTE: 9:15 to 10:00 am – Phil Goss (USARK President) - “Us vs. T.H.E.M. - The Anti-Pet Agenda”
10:00 to 10:45 am – Fred Caporaso PhD - “Galápagos Tortoise Update: Lonesome George is Gone, but Sound Science and Serendipity May Spell Recovery for These Gentle Giants!”
10:45 to 11:15 am – Barry Downer (Tulsa Zoo) “Studbooks and the Private Hobbyist”
11:15 am to 12:00 pm - Carl Franklin “The Herpetoculture of an Enigmatic Venezuelan Endemic the Zulia toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys zuliae) Past, Present and Future Directions”
1:30 to 2:00 pm – Nick Burge (Science Educator, Country Gardens Charter School) “T.U.R.T.L.E.S. - Turtles Under Recovery with Teachers Leading and Educating Students”
2:00 to 2:30 pm - Ed Pirog - “Notes on the Captive Husbandry of the Chaco Tortoise (Chelonoidis chilensis)”
2:30 to 3:00 pm – Deb Sydney “Conquering Mother Nature: Electrical Wiring, Heating and Cooling”
3:00 to 3:30 pm - John Coakley “Keeping and Breeding Egyptian Tortoises”3:30 to 4:00 pm - Paul Vander Schouw (TTPG) “Notes on a New Incubator Design”
4:15 to 5:00 - Joe Flanagan DVM (Houston Zoo) “Working to Save the Tortoises of the Galapagos Islands”
5:00 to 5:15 pm – Pete Jansema “Waterlandtubs and Their Application in Turtle Breeding”
5:15 to 5:45 pm – Tomas Diagne (African Chelonian Institute) “The Search for Cyclanorbis elegans, Africa’s Rarest Aquatic Turtle
5:45 to 6:15 pm - DISCUSSION regarding the FDA ban on the sale of turtles under 4” moderated by Richard Fife.
9:00 to 9:30 am - Vince Scheidt “Wanderings in South Africa: Chersina angulata”
9:30 to 10:30 am - Cord Offermann DVM “Case Studies Involving Turtles and Tortoises”
10:30 to 11:00 am – Robert Villa “Tortuga de la Sierra Madre: What We Know About the Spotted Box Turtle (Terrapene nelsoni)”
11:00 to 11:15 am - Kurt Edwards (TTPG
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm – lunch banquet and banquet speaker:
Carl Franklin (Biological Curator and Collections Manager of the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center at the University of Texas Arlington) “Custodian of Eden? Or a Preposterous Pipedream?

Article written by USARK