At The Reptile Academy, education and animal welfare are both at the heart of all our reptile sessions. With 10 years plus of reptile husbandry experience and a background in Biological Sciences, we aim to provide an exhilarating, interactive animal handling experience with a scientific approach, different to other animal handling groups.
We have grown after the past few years, attending large events such as Petersfield Summer Festival 2017 and Special Educational Needs Schools including Big Bear Bespoke Education, Guildford. We have supported charities such as Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award through the Diamond Challenge and Branch Up Southampton Hub for disadvantaged children. We would love to attend your big summer event too!
We are available for hire for public and private events to carry out our reptile talks and handling workshops, but we also offer a variety of reptile-themed photography services.
We deliver a wide range of interactive and educational services designed to target a diverse audience. Our most popular bookable services include Educational Talks & Handling Workshops, Public Exhibits for Festivals and Fayres as well as our own Reptile Exhibitions. We also run training programmes and courses as well as photographic experiences. Every service is run with the highest animal welfare standards under the new Animal Welfare Act 2006 / 2018 Legislation.
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The Reptile Academy Ltd is a leading provider of reptile and amphibian education and animal assisted intervention in the UK, with all our sessions accompanied by beautiful and magnificent animals. Our Reptile Ranger and Management Team have extensive experience in Reptile and Amphibian Herpetoculture and Husbandry and have formal higher level educational qualifications in Biology, Zoology and related disciplines, having graduated from leading academic institutions. When it comes to working with our animals and delivering educational content, we set the bar of expectations for our team very high.
We pride ourselves on impeccable animal welfare standards, holding a DEFRA Animal Welfare Act (2006) Licence for Activities Involving Animals (2018). In addition, we have a strict Animal Trading Policy that states we do not intentionally breed or sell our animals and our animals are not taken from the wild.
How did our journey start?
“From my earliest memories, we have had a passion for animals and kept a variety of non-reptile and reptiles as pets, developing a passion for these scaly friends in particular. Back in 2013, we [Gary and Jake (Father and Son)] began exhibiting Monte, our Burmese python, at a preschool to help raise funds to keep the doors open. Since then we recognised the educational and impact value that these animals have and expanded our collection, providing enriching forever homes for several rescue animals in the process.” – Jake Weeks, MD
Over the years, The Reptile Academy Ltd has grown exponentially from this Father-Son project into being a lead provider of reptile and amphibian educational activities. In 2016, we toured Essex and Kent on our 'Jake the Snake's Reptile Roadshow' raising money for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance as well as for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Diamond Challenge. The following year, we began to branch out into working at huge public events including Petersfield Summer Festival as well as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) centres and centres for socio-economically disadvantaged children including Branch Up Southampton Hub. In June 2018, we finally established ourselves as a company, facilitating greater depth, breadth and quality in the services we provide. The success we had led to recognition by being awarded the Prestigious Vice President's Education Award for the Best Extra-Curricular Academic Project at the Excellence in Volunteering Awards 2018, University of Southampton.
What set’s us apart from other groups?
“Unlike many petting zoos and similar organisations, rather than having ‘working animals’, all animals that we exhibit are our personal pets, not company assets. So, it’s safe to say that their welfare comes first and foremost. In addition, our lead reptile rangers hold undergraduate and post-graduate level University degrees in Biology and Zoology, so have the knowledge and experience to deliver outstanding educational and interactive content from a scientific approach, tailored to the required level. Due to our welfare and educational approaches, we are not an ‘animal party provider’ although, the experiences we offer are second-to-none and the quality of our sessions will beat any ‘animal party provider’ out there.” – Gary Weeks, Events Manager
What do we deliver?
Educational Talks and Animal Handling Workshops
We deliver a range of services that all centre around reptile and amphibian education. Our primary services include mainstream school and SEN/SEND talks and workshops, tailored to all KS1-KS4 abilities and we offer more advanced talks and sessions for college and Advanced Level students. Additionally, our sessions are perfect enrichment opportunities for University society or academic groups and the content can be tailored to your needs, and we are also popular for team building and training day sessions.
Ever wanted to go on a reptile safari? Well, we deliver indoor and outdoor reptile handling exhibits which will be the biggest crowd puller at your event! With headline exhibits at Petersfield Summer Festival, Poole Pirate Day, Coldon Common and Exbury Gardens, booking us for your event or festival will make your guests leave thinking ‘Wow, what an amazing day!’ and returning the next year.
If you work in the reptile field or are an avid herpetological enthusiast, then one of our courses could be for you.
Exhibiting Reptiles, Animal Welfare and DEFRA
Introduction to Herpetology
Photographing Reptiles (Day Course)
Reptile Assisted Therapy (RAT)
Thank you for visiting The Reptile Academy Ltd and we look forward to hearing from you soon.