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Retiring - Thank you to the community

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  • Retiring - Thank you to the community

    Itís been a hot minute since I last posted on Pangea so most of you might not recognize the username. On and off I bred and sold geckos since I was 13 years old(33 now). For you Illinois people it all started with a single crested gecko from Lee Watsons reptile show in Schaumburg IL. They used to run that show out of a small red barn with venomous snakes and baby caimans lol, the wild west of shows. From there it didn't take long for my hobby to grow to an obsession. I picked up a red female bi-color off of Ariel Cudia and from the first time she laid eggs I was hooked. I spent a couple years understanding the hobby and the market in high school and then headed out to Purdue to go to college. By this time I had about 4 adult females, 2 males(A Halloween Harley and a Creamsicle) and a couple hatchlings. It was pretty hilarious to see the faces of girls and guys that stepped into my apartment and saw cages sprawled all over the room stacked to the ceiling sometimes. However, you could bet money on it that any time someone came in they always wanted to hold a gecko and were amazed at all of the various species (at that time it was just crested and leachies, but that's enough to make any common non reptile enthusiast intrigued). Every girl I ever met wanted to pet the soft cute lizards, every guy I ever met wanted to watch me dump 2 dozen crickets into the hatchlings cage (which they renamed the thunder dome) and watch the feeding frenzy. It was a blast hatching geckos out of an old hovabator. I remember at one point my college buddies getting so involved they made bets around hatch dates. Everyone once in a while I would come home from class and one of them would be waiting to open the incubator and see if anything had popped out. Around 2007 is when I joined Pangea. Before this I would normally just scour faunaclassifieds to see the current geckos available. It was awesome though, finally an avenue to ask questions, to see current inventory, to actually start to meet some of the bigger breeders. Usually during college classes I would have the website up scrolling through ads, dreaming of buying numerous geckos and looking through various breederís webpages. It was pretty incredible seeing all the creations and what others were able to accomplish in the hobby. Soon I started producing my own inventory and posting ads with the current seasons creations. It was awesome, I remember the first time I walked into a USPS store with a box labeled non-venomous reptiles and everyone behind the counter about lost it. I shipped geckos all over the US and also met people in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois face to face numerous times to drop off reptiles. Trips to NARBC, shorter trips to Midwest Reptile Show(in Indianapolis where I currently live). It was all amazing, the people I met, the collections I saw, the update pictures people would send of my hatchlings that are now their current breeders(also if you bought from me in the past and still have some of the geckos send me an updated pic! It would be awesome to have a collection of pics of reptiles I produced over the years). All incredible, almost as incredible as watching my friends kids, and my own nieces and nephews come over to look at a hatchling or hold an adult gecko. That was one of, and will always be the coolest parts ever. To see how excited they got, every time they came over, reminded me of myself walking into PETCOs as a kid and just staring into the cages. There really isnít much that beats being able to create that moment for a kid. Eventually as the years went by I took jobs which made me travel and my collection started to dwindle(now I work for Caliber Home Loans as a mortgage originator so if anyone in Indiana ever needs a loan for that house big enough to house your reptile collection feel free to send me an email or reach out to me on facebook). It was hard keeping up with the cleaning and feeding of the fleet and after a couple of years I decided it was time to stop breeding and reduced my collection to just 2 retired breeders, Rosie and Cooper, Iím sure there is some pictures of them both somewhere on Pangea. I know I said it numerous time during this post, but all and all it was an incredible 20 something years. I appreciate all of the friends I made during the hobby and all of the experiences I was able to have. Thank you for all of the advice you gave early on in my ďcareerĒ and thank you for all of the support you gave as I made my own creations. Itís truly been amazing and I hope you all have the same great experiences that I did. Iíll leave my contact info below you can email me or shoot me a facebook friend request. Iím always game to meet up at a show in indy or check out a collection or talk reptiles in general. Wish you guys all the best.

    Take care,
    Ryan Zaininger

  • #2
    Nice to hear a retrospective of a 20 year career. I had to hang up breeding after 13 years due to crypto, but my 60 or so crypto geckos and I are doing well



    • #3
      good luck! i wish to start my own reptile store that takes the best care of reptiles ever. its gonna be hard though.