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15th Anniversary Contest Winner

Meet the winner of the REPTILES 15th anniversary contest.

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We kicked off our 15th Anniversary Contest in the October issue and asked readers to tell us how REPTILES magazine helped their herpkeeping hobby.

Choosing the winner was a complicated, high-tech affair. We assigned numbers to our favorite entries and wrote them on small scraps of paper. Assistant Editor Eric Syverson crumpled them and held them out. Editor Russ Case then picked one out, uncrumpled it and revealed the number corresponding to the winning entry, which you can now read.


The Winner!
Dear REPTILES magazine staff:

My name is Diego Ortiz. My wife, Tiffany, and I bought our first snake (a corn snake) in 2005, and I saw your magazine on the checkout counter of the pet store. I picked it up and eventually bought all of their back issues when I returned for pinkies on a weekly basis. Since then, I have immersed myself in all things herpetological, eventually acquiring most of your back issues dating back to the first one.

Well, as we all know, you can’t just have one snake, so from that one corn snake our collection grew to massive proportions, having included more than 70 snakes, 15 lizards and 10 amphibians at one time! Our collection is at a more manageable size now with emphasis on breeding select species. Thanks for all the breeding tips!

Many REPTILES articles encouraged me to try my hand at different species, and REPTILES led me to the annual Reptiles USA. An article in the 2005 annual literally changed my life; this was Kara Sutton-Jones’ “15 Reasons to Join a Herp Society.”

I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me before, but it made so much sense — there were other people with our interests here in town! Tiffany and I immediately found the Arizona Herpetological Association and became members. In the past two years, we have participated in dozens of educational events, and met and attended the presentations of an amazing array of notable speakers, such as Bill Love, Ari Flagle, Richard Funk, Bill Griswold and many, many more. I have been so involved with the club that I was recently elected to its board of directors.


Another REPTILES influence was the “Notes from the Field” column. I still read some of the old ones and draw inspiration as I try to become an accomplished field herper. Any time I target a species, I always check my back issues to see if there are any tips hidden in the text.

All in all, REPTILES magazine transformed my budding herpetocultural interests into an enriched, informed and interactive experience. Thank you!

Diego Ortiz
Glendale, Ariz.