N. Scottsdale herpetological society hires reptile curator

Cody Bartolini has joined the Phoenix Herpetological Society as curator of reptiles, moving from the world-renowned St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Fla.

Cody Bartolini, newly hired curator of reptiles, with two of the many reptile species at PHS.

Cody Bartolini, newly hired curator of reptiles, with two of the many reptile species at PHS.

“It is truly my dream to be part of a zoo like the Phoenix Herpetological Society,” says Mr. Bartolini.

“Over the years, my primary interests have been in venomous reptiles and crocodilians. The Phoenix Herpetological Society currently houses over 100 separate species and sub-species of venomous reptiles and 21 of the 23 species of crocodilian. This is a collection and facility I am proud to oversee.”

He and his wife Pia, a veterinary technician, live in north Phoenix.

Mr. Bartolini, who is originally from Las Vegas, was with the St. Augustine Zoo since 2010 as a herpetologist and, most recently, Senior Reptile Keeper.  Prior to that, he worked at Medtoxin Venom Laboratories in Deland, Fla., which houses over 1,100 venomous snakes, and extracts venom for pharmaceutical research and antiserum production.

“My fascination with reptiles started early on in my childhood,” he says. “I can remember one of my grade-school classmates showing me a lizard he had just caught in the schoolyard. I was completely taken back by the beauty of this little scaly creature … from that day forward, I was hooked!”

Mr. Bartolini says most of his days were then spent wandering the vacant lots and surrounding deserts of Las Vegas in search of snakes and lizards.

“I had phenomenal parents who supported my ever-growing interest in reptiles, allowing me to keep a whole host of different critters in our home. My love, passion and interest for these misunderstood animals began to grow.”

He and his wife Pia share a love of reptiles. They met while she was a veterinary technician in the Zoo Med Department at the University of Florida and he was working for Medtoxin as their Veterinary Liaison.

“We actually spent our first date at Medtoxin, working with Black mambas! We’ve been inseparable ever since,” he says.

Earlier this year, the couple moved their collection of 150 reptiles across the country.

PHS is a private, non-profit sanctuary that offers tours by appointment, summer camps and special events. For information on summer camps, which include age-specific sessions for kids ages 8 to 14, call (480) 513-4377, ext. 3, or email Crystie@phoenixherp.com.

Additional information about the sanctuary and its programs is available at www.phoenixherp.com.

Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of rescued reptiles and educating the public about living with these amazing creatures. PHS was founded in 2001, and operates a sanctuary on more than two acres of privately owned land in north Scottsdale.

PHS is home to nearly 1700 native and exotic reptiles, many of them endangered and participants in captive breeding repopulation programs. The sanctuary offers unique opportunities to get close to and, in some cases, interact with snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises from the Desert Southwest and around the world.

 

 

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