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Last updated : 01/04/2007

This page is indexed on our home page under Aspect: 1. About us and contacts and the Section: 2. Mission Statement, background & terms

Background

My name is Bjorn Unger and I was born  in 1983 and have always been fascinated by nature. My first seven years were spent on a small holding in Gauteng, where one of my first memories is watching some bull frogs tucking into flying termites as they came out the ground and two bull frogs fighting, one of which had to be rescued from a certain death.

In 1990 we moved back to Hout Bay in the Cape, where both pairs of my Grand parents live.

Here we had the privilege of life on a property that boarded on the mountain side above the World of Birds and where, as kids we would look for snakes lizards and frogs on the two acre garden or on the mountain side. Noticing my interest,  I was given two books by my grand mother titled "Frogs and Toads of South Africa" and other titled "Lizards of South Africa" both written by Walter Rose and published in 1929.

Patient attempts to feed wild black Cape Girdled Lizard (Cordylus niger). lizards with crickets stuck on the end of a stick took up many hours and brings back many fond memories. (See note at foot of page) 

Reproduced from Lizards of South Africa. 

This life style and my other passion of fly fishing from an early age introduced me to the true appreciation of nature.

I was introduced to snakes as pets by a friend. At 17 I bought my first snake, which was an Albino Californian King Snake, which is still in my possession and has bred in the last two seasons. With one snake, my interest grew and so did my collection, which subsequently reached 22 in total, of different species. During my studies I was trading snakes on a small scale and bred my own rats and mice. I soon realised that it was much cheaper and a lot less work to buy in my food requirements.

After finishing matric I studied marketing for a year and then changed over to game ranging and lodge management, obtaining a FAGASA level 1 certificate at the end of 2003. During our Ecotraining practical field studies we saw a huge African Rock Python. This picture was taken with a little instamatic, so excuse the quality.  Pleasing to note that animals of this size are still found out there.

 

The African Rock we saw on Ecotraining

And this is yours truly, with one on my Madagascan Ground Boas( Acrantophis madagascariensis

           
In 2004 I then went to the USA on a working holiday. I was working at Six Flags Great Adventures, in the drive through Safari Ranch. While I was there I attended a reptile expo in New York and saw what was on offer and made contact with various breeders. I decided that on my return to South Africa I would start my own business importing snakes, and other reptiles and breeding exotic species.

Soon after returning to Cape Town from the USA, I registered Reptilia Traders cc and seriously started setting up the facilities to achieve my aim. This was a time consuming and costly business. It has taken me more over 18 months plan build and get approval of the facility, during which, any spare time was used to do research on reptiles and prepare the data for this Website.

And so in May  2006 we launched the website and our first order will be in the pipeline shortly.


Note : 1. This lizard as described in the book referred to above,  is featured  in more detail  in the  SCARCE  website.

2. Dr Walter Rose referred too this Lizard as a Black Zonure (Zonurus Cordylus niger) or Cape Girdle-Tailed Lizard

3. As listed in The EMBL Reptile Database    and Picture

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Last update : 01/04/2007