David Reed does much more than rescue reptiles in Katherine, NT. He’s a one-man reptile education and awareness band.

Story By Kerry Sharp

David Reed’s fearless infatuation with reptilian types of all shapes, sizes and degrees of deadliness began on a drive home one night when he was three. “Our headlights showed up a water python on the road,” says the 29-year-old Katherine-born businessman who has turned a boyhood passion into a hometown reptile rescue and breeding venture. “We stopped and Dad let me help him carry it into the bush. I was completely mesmerised.”

When his family moved soon after from town to a Katherine River block, he observed children’s pythons just about every night in the expansion gaps in the bricks. By the time he’d reached primary school, he’d amassed his own private snake collection.
David started Reedy’s Reptiles in 2004 when, at 18, fresh out of high school, he tendered successfully for Katherine’s Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission animal-rescue contract. He’s provided that service ever since and enjoys the fact that the contract is now only for reptiles and not the previous menagerie of bats, wallabies, birds and other wayward fauna.

“It’s a big commitment. You could say that apart from a few quick breaks away, I’ve been on call 24 hours a day for 11 years,” he laughs. “I can’t have a few drinks or go camping or on holidays with my wife Lauren as much as we’d like because I need to be close to town. That’s the only downside – but it’s a great job, and lets me pursue my passion, so I’m not complaining.”

Reedy responds to an average of 400 call-outs a year.

This story excerpt is from Issue #106

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2016