ABOUT TRACE HARDIN
Most children are born with an innate interest in the natural world; we are curious creatures at birth. Somewhere along the road to adulthood this inquisitiveness is replaced with other desires and interests. I never grew up. Instead this fascination with the natural world was cultivated and bloomed into a career and life long obsession.
As a kid, I volunteered at the Louisville Zoo's Herpaquarium and worked at exotic pet stores in Kentucky. In my late teens, I moved half way across the country to begin working at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo as a Reptile and Amphibian Keeper. Eventually, I became the zoo’s Lead Entomologist. The zoo offered an incredible opportunity to work on many conservation projects; both locally and globally. I have traveled internationally to work with both the Honduras and the Panama Amphibian Rescue & Conservation project and Costa Rican butterfly farms. I also spearheaded regional conservation projects. One successful endeavor involved the the most endangered beetle in the United States, the Salt Creek Tiger beetle (Cicindela n. lincolniana). After nearly a decade at the zoo and after completing my Master's in Entomology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I moved on to become an entomologist in South Carolina.
The zoo also taught me invaluable lessons on husbandry and captive propagation of ectotherms. I believe we owe all animals in captivity as much physical and mental stimulation as possible. I have great success breeding many species because I apply zoo techniques at home. I offer a varied diet, enrichment, and exercise.
Throughout this crazy adventure my best friend has been helping me keep the pieces together. Charlene vends shows for me when I run off to the everglades to chase pythons, she cares for all the neonates with attentiveness that rivals my own, and she answers emails and updates the website.