After moving to Florida I got interested in the Florida Everglades. Relying on my mechanical experience, I built and rebuilt some six-wheel amphibious vehicles. They were a combination of a jeep and a boat. I ran my two young daughters Samantha & Lauren, through the Everglades for the next 6 years. They grew up with part of their life through our Everglades adventures. It was the best way to get around the Everglades, riding through wild terrain and on top of levees (but don't tell anyone!) 1997-2003 After living a double life in the business man & reptile collector & Breeder I eventually retired from the corporate world, sold my business and dedicated myself to our farm full-time. 2016 For the past 39 years, I have been buying, selling, and raising giant tortoises. I am proud to be the exclusive representative for the largest Aldabra sanctuary in the Mauritius islands. Through my YouTube channel, Instagram, and website, I have shared my knowledge of caring for these animals and have become well-known in the industry.
My breeding facility is accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), and I have sold more Aldabra Tortoises and breeding animals than any other entity in the last two decades. However, my greatest happiness comes from doing what I love alongside my wife and family on our farm. (Yes, the daughters still live and work on the farm.)
Working with animals and helping them has been a rewarding experience. I have also extended my assistance to people all over the world in caring for their animals. Though I have no formal medical education, my passion for understanding how things work and my extensive reading and studying of medical books have allowed me to provide guidance and support to my family and others during times of illness. While I never pretended to be a doctor, I often acted as a bridge between doctors and patients, helping to ensure clear communication and understanding.
I have no formal medical education, but I have always had a gift to figure out how things work. I won a few science fairs back in grade and JR high school building Vacuum Tube technology radio receivers. (this was before IC chips and integrated circuits.) I also made some small radio transmitter stations. I was an auto mechanic and owned my own repair shop and gas station back on Long Island.
I owned a small technology retail store when I lived out in Islip, Long Island. I rebuilt motors, power tools & industrial, woodworking machinery. I repaired TVs. All of that electrical knowledge came from my father, he worked for Grumman Aerospace and was one of the men that worked on the LEM Lunar Landing Module back in 1968. I have worked as an electrician and three phase industrial electrician.
When I was a kid, I remember watching my mother hand feed little birds that fell out of a nest and then she released them. When I was a young teenager, I use to ride my bike around the streets looking for injured or lost animals. I used to take them home to a room I had set up with some primitive resources, but I saved a few in any case. I couldn't drive past and not help them. When I first got my driver’s license, I drove around the neighborhood looking for lost or injured animals. I reunited many lost pets with their owners. That was a great feeling and I found it very rewarding. My Medical experience came from many years of reading & studying medical books. I was the go-to source when anyone got sick in my family. My mother, my father, brother & sister, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, employees and friends. I would accompany them to the doctors. I worked with brain cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, heart & liver problems and stroke. I have saved many people's lives over the years and when we lost them, I always felt more could have been done to save them but there was always a glitch and missed opportunities for early detection. Typically, most cases have poor outcomes because the doctors only pay limited attention to one patient. After all, you're not their mother. I didn't pretend to be a doctor (but I asked tough questions that made them stop and think.) At least I was a guy that tried to bridge that gap between what the doctor was saying and what the patient was understanding. I was liaison, if you will. In another life I could have made that a profession. Once I followed my wife to a show once, it was one of these metaphysical types of conferences that dealt with all these other worldly connections. I was a more grounded black & white individual and the metaphysical world just wasn't cemented on scientific properties like I accepted. Out of the blue some woman walked up to me and said you used to be a medicine man in another life. I don’t know what it means but it always resonated with me. Somehow medical cases of every kind fell in my lap. It's not unusual to be working on three cases at any one time. I have a passion for helping; currently I spend over 2 - 3 hours everyday answering questions. My move to Florida at the age of 30 marked a turning point for my reptile collection, particularly during the importation boom of iguanas and tortoises 40 years ago. It became apparent that local veterinarians lacked experience in treating these creatures, prompting me to take matters into my own hands. With a thriving business in satellite TV and security cameras, I spared no expense in seeking the best care for my animals. Through X-rays, blood work, cultures, and necropsies, my thirst for knowledge and having this huge collection gave me the chance to put my knowledge to practical application. I delved into understanding diseases and treatments, attracting the attention of renowned reptile veterinarians such as Dr. Mader & Dr. Funk. DR Mader is a close friend who I owe so much to, my life would be complete if I were able to impact other peoles lives the way he has mine.
One of my curators eventually moved on to vet school in Gainesville and has been a long time friend. Dr. Brad Lock graduated and took a special interest in Reptiles, I owe him a lot. Over the years he was always there to help me and he was also the person who introduced me to both Funk and Mader, which has dramatically impacted my life.
Through all of my businesses my wife Laura has worked by my side, my desk next to hers. As I mentioned, my two daughters still live and work with us on the farm. There is no fighting, there is no yelling, I have always developed deep relationships with my friends and family. My father worked for me the last 19 years of his life and when he passed, my mother lived with me another 18 years. They were good, honest, loving people. We never said a bad word or had an argument with each other. Relationships are the soil of our souls; without roots, we wither. In high school I related better to the teachers than to the students. I had an 8th grade Shop teacher, Mr Harris he took an interest in me and I in him. But, the kids didn't like him, they were wild in his class, like most junior high wood shops. At the end of the year he wrote in my yearbook, "To thine own self be true." He died the next day. A few words to live your life by.
My greatest reward in life is the success I have had helping everyone and anyone. From people in my backyard to people all over the world. I owe my success and great fortune to the people who have supported and nurtured me throughout my life. From my family and teachers to the doctors who have cared for my loved ones, I am grateful for their influence. Their guidance and the opportunities I have had to apply my knowledge which has enabled me to make a positive impact on the lives of both animals and people. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my journey. I am honored to share my experiences and knowledge with you.