Diana Mandel and I headed south on a sunny January afternoon to visit Brad’s World Reptiles in Corvallis, Oregon. We pulled up to his house and were greeted by a dinosaur statue, then Brad’s assistant and resident tour guide, Cody. Brad came out and hugged us both, thanking us for coming by to see a lifetime of work and dedication to the rescue and education of reptiles. Brad moved onto the land in the mid-80s, then a hay farm, and ever since has brought the land back to life – literally. The property is 10 acres of now a wildlife refuge. We were impressed with his tales of travels abroad and saw a rough cut of a 3-D film he is releasing on animals in Africa. We also got an exclusive peek at Brad’s home videos of Steve and Terry Irwin’s visit in the 90s.
But we were eager to see the other residents. First, he introduced us to the friendly macaws in the backyard. Then, Cody took us on a tour of the areas where hundreds of snakes, lizards and tortoises call home. After spending a few hours getting to know the residents (Isaac, the monitor lizard and her tongue, touching snakes, petting an alligator), I gained a deeper understanding that these creatures have individual personalities. I could identify with the love Brad and Cody have for the rescued reptiles.
Brad offers educational talks at schools, museums, and other venues. If you’d like to book Brad for an event, you can contact him through his website. In the meantime, please enjoy my photos!