The Dragon Traders:
A Collective History of the Reptile Trade in America and the Age of Herpetoculture
Raised in the herpetologically diverse environment of 1960s-70s southern Florida, Michael Burger has held a life-long interest in amphibians and reptiles. A speaker at the very first Metro Toronto Reptile Symposium in 1996, he has worked at both the San Antonio Zoo and Dallas Zoo reptile departments.
An author of several dozen popular to semitechnical papers on reptiles and amphibians, Michael has spent the last five years writing a comprehensive account on the history of the trends, events, people, and places that led to the rising popularity of reptiles in America over the course of the 20th century, a continuum that eventually resulted in the captive breeding or herpetoculture movement. His efforts have turned into a nearly 500-page book titled The Dragon Traders: A Collective History of the Reptile Trade in America and the Age of Herpetoculture and is currently in press.
Justin Kobylka, Kobylka Reptiles
Justin Kobylka is a professional reptile breeder who is pioneering cutting edge Ball Python morphs and combos. In the 13 years he’s dedicated to Ball Pythons, he has become known for not only his amazing animals, but also his popular educational blog & YouTube channel.
Justin works from a dedicated facility and stock collection of about 400 animals and is well known for his innovative work with recessive Ball Python combos such as Clowns & Piebalds.
More recently Justin has traveled worldwide to talking about Ball Pythons and helping hobbyists develop their passion for these amazing reptiles. “ I am looking forward to attending the Canadian Reptile Breeders Expo in September” – Justin Kybolka
Amad “Ozzy” Osman, Ozzy Boids
Amad “Ozzy” Osman, owner of Ozzy Boids LLC is a private breeder of Ball Python and Boa Constrictor morphs based in the Washington DC metropolitan region of the US. Ozzy Boids is the founder of the infamous Orange Dream morph that can now be found all over the globe and in every collection. Like most enthusiasts Oz was fascinated with reptiles ever since he was a small child growing up in Brooklyn, NY. In 1999 after leaving NY and moving to Virginia to attend college, Oz began entertaining the idea of purchasing a small constrictor. After doing some research online he purchased a captive bred Ball Python from a local trade show. It was all downhill after that! Oz graduated shortly after with a BS in Biology from George Mason University and began a career in Biotechnology… a few years later in 2003, Ozzy Boids was formed as a sole proprietor and later became an LLC. Oz continued to grow his business while enjoying a successful career in Biotech eventually achieving a Director level position. In January 2017 he resigned from a very lucrative job in the Corporate World to spend more time doing the things he loves and spending more time with his kids. Oz still consults part time in the Biotech field and invests in real estate, his 2nd passion.
“I am a morph designer at heart, not really a collector. I love working with my animals, combining genetics and producing new, amazing designer morphs. This is what moves me! I hope our creations inspire others to follow their passion in life whatever it may be… and always remember, being “normal” is overrated.“ -Oz
Jeff Hathaway, Scales Nature Park
Jeff is the Director of Scales Nature Park. A 21 hectare conservation area located just south of Orillia. The focus of this facility is the conservation of reptiles, amphibians, and fish and their habitats that these animals require.
Traveling across Canada their hands-on educational programs featuring live reptiles, amphibians and fish of Canada.
This year we are honoured to present them at the 2018 Canadian Reptile Breeders Expo sharing their past years efforts in supporting the native reptiles they have encountered along with some exciting programs they are initiating.