Chris Leone

Chris is the owner and operator of Garden State Tortoise and Hermanni Haven. He is the studbook coordinator for the North American Regional Studbook for Testudo hermanni hermanni and his work with the world's turtles and tortoises spans over two decades. Chris' life centers around keeping and breeding dozens of species with a primary focus on Mediterranean tortoises and turtles of the Northeastern United States, among others. He is an educational resource partner of and a writer for Reptiles Magazine since early 2011. He is an active member of several turtle and tortoise forums across the globe and his educational/identification videos along with photo galleries have received thousands of views. In previous years, Chris has been a helping hand in turtle dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, has provided live specimens for several state nature museums and has aided in photography for books and other magazines on the subject in addition to care sheets for His work with local humane societies, fish and wildlife agencies and zoos has helped countless turtles find new homes and his research is ongoing. Visit him and his amazing animals at and Also, be sure to catch his articles in upcoming issues of Reptiles Magazine or look for back issues such as "Gems of the Mediterranean" (January 2011), "Smile Big" (October 2012), "An American Classic" (July 2013), "Long Live the Greeks" (April 2014) and "The Engraved Turtle" (July 2014).

The Pondcast, Episode 76

The Next Generation

A torch bearer for a younger generation, Jordan Donini is a turtle academic who is taking the world by storm. His work on reproductive biology in chelonians and tireless work in the field in South Florida make him a must follow on social media. The hosts sit down with him in this episode, to fawn over what a delight it must be to learn under […]

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The Pondcast, Episode 75

Turtles and Trash

This month, we are joined by Tyler Brooks. Tyler is a husband, father of two daughters, founding member of the Kinixys Working Group and the owner/operator of a solid waste disposal facility. In addition to what is sure to be an enjoyable conversation centered around Tyler’s favorite genera, Kinixys and Manouria, you just might learn more about waste management then you ever thought you would!

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The Pondcast, Episode 74

The Pinnacle of Conservation and Work/Life Balance

The crew speaks with a hero in the conservation world, Dr. Dante Fenolio. Dr. Fenolio is an extremely accomplished underwater photographer, PhD and educator. He is also the author of “Life in the Dark,” and runs the Department of Conservation & Research for the San Antonio Zoo. We are thrilled to hear from someone who has had such amazing experiences and has done such incredible

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The Pondcast, Episode 73

Film Director, Ari Taub

In this exciting episode, your hosts are with a good friend of theirs, Ari Taub, an American film director and producer. The turtle related debates in this one get really lively, in a good way. Ari is perhaps best known for his movie, The Fallen, a 2004 war film about the perspectives of Italian, German, and American soldiers during World War II. His latest movie,

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The Pondcast, Episode 72

Up For Air

Christine Light is an experienced scuba diver, with around 500 dives under her belt, one of which saved someone’s life! She has traveled to several points on the globe in her efforts with both wild and captive animals from whale sharks and mobula rays to rehabbing a Painted Terrapin at the Downtown Aquarium Denver where she was Assistant Curator to being one of the first

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The Pondcast, Episode 69


In this episode, the guys are joined by award winning animal educator and digital content creator, Emma Lock. Her YouTube channel, Emzotic, currently has over 690,000 subscribers, comprised of animal lovers and pet keepers seeking a place to learn about exotic animals and pet care. Her ‘Creature Feature’ videos have been showcased by the BBC World Service and Blue Peter, as well as many digital

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The Pondcast, Episode 68

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Viviana Ricardez is the Vice President of the non-profit research organization Texas Turtles. Viviana joins our hosts to talk about all the cool things Texas Turtles is doing to study turtles and her background going from “90s turtle nerd” to a leading expert on the turtles of Texas. The goal of Texas Turtles is to “fill a Texas-sized hole in our knowledge of Texas turtles

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The Pondcast, Episode 67

Veterinary Partnerships

The Pondcast team speaks with Diva Green, DVM, a talented exotics veterinarian from Connecticut who has partnered with tTR on care of their animals. Dr. Green is the type of veterinarian you want caring for your animals and is someone young professionals can look up to and aspire to be. We’ll talk about the importance of working as a team with your vet and the

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