Hermit Teagarden began his career at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1966. During his 45 years here, he has worked in almost every part of the Zoo and with all sorts of animals, including elephants, lions, birds, nocturnal animals, deer, reptiles and amphibians. He feels most at home and comfortable working with reptiles.
Hermit’s typical work day starts at Manatee Springs, where he cares for the reptiles housed in that building. These include palmetto scrubs, anoles, water moccasins and other reptiles that can be found in Florida. He then makes his way over to the reptile house to open the exhibit, feed the reptiles and clean. Most reptiles eat rodents, but the size of the specimen and the interval between feedings varies. The Burmese python, for example, gets a 3-5 lb. rabbit (thawed from frozen) every other week. He always make sure there’s a good crowd in the exhibit for this feeding. It’s fascinating to watch.
At home, Hermit has six snakes and also enjoys feeding the deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and other animals that live on his property.
He just returned from an extended trip to India. He travels as much as possible, India and California being his favorite destinations.