Meeting Paul Moler
Yesteryear. Back in 1982, while working at the Transvaal Snake Park, I attended a Crocodile Specialist Group meeting in Vic Fall, Zimbabwe. It was well attended with fascinating topics being covered by a variety of speakers from all over the world.
I met a bunch of interesting people – the late Dr Don Broadley, the late Dave Blake, Paul Moler, Woody Woodward, Marco Lazcano, George Rebello and the list goes on.
A year later I visited the USA and spent some time with Paul Moler. We had a lot of fun – catching alligators, snakes, frogs and spending a lot of time in the field all over Florida. We visited various facilities – zoos, alligator farms, private facilities (Eugene Bissett, George van Horn and DIck Bartlett comes to mind and I met a bunch of folks, many of them still good friends to this day. I also spent time with Bill Love, Tom Crutchfield and Dick Bartlett.
Since then I have visited Paul and Deanne in Gainesville several times and Paul has also been to South Africa most years – some years more than once. In 1995 Paul brought Randy Babb along and we had a memorable trip to Namibia, the first of many more over the years.
I have been incredibly fortunate to spend time with both Paul and Randy in the field and have leant a great deal from both of them. It has been an exceptional friendship and I cannot even explain how much I have gained from these incredible guys. It gets even better – they have introduced me to an array of amazing folks – reptile scientists, hobbyists, photographers and just plain old folks like me and I have had more than my fair share of good times with all of these folks. And while we work our way through these turbulent times I often think of exceptional days in the field and I cannot wait for our next adventure. A Kunene trip is on the cards.
The photograph is of a youthful Paul (he has not changed much over the years) taken back in 1983 with a Florida Indigo Snake in the wild that he was doing a radio telemetry study on.