International Reptile Rescue’s Beginnings

Hart’s Reptile World, now International Reptile Rescue, has been the premier Reptile Rescue Organization and reptile educators since the 70 ’s. We’ve been educating and entertaining kids and adults alike on how unique and “not-so-scary” most reptiles are once you get to know them. Our knowledge of reptiles have animal, police and private collectors from around the U. S. and beyond calling for our expertise. In many reptile rescues we have to travel out of state to get the animal as local agencies are frequently not qualified or do not have the facilities to take or house a large or dangerous reptile. We’ve lectured and exhibited all over the U. S. from Oregon to Louisiana, Texas to Tennessee, North Dakota to Utah and everywhere in between. Our programs are paced to highlight wildlife conservation while also emphasizing the reptiles and amphibians that may or may not be good choices for pets and why.

International Reptile Rescue – Bio

1988 Canby Herald - Oct 5thHart’s Reptile World is the growing vision of Mary Esther Hart who’s been interested in and collecting reptiles since childhood. For many it’s just a ”phase“ she’s still waiting to outgrow.

During the early 70’s teachers asked her to bring animals to their classrooms or bring students out on field trips.

In 1980 the collection was opened to the public as Hart’s Reptile World. We’ve been rescuing, educating and entertaining families and visitors from around the world ever since.

During the 80’s when reptiles became popular as pets it also meant many got loose. Being well known for her work with reptiles, police and animal agencies from all across the U.S. and Canada started calling for her help and expertise in rescue and training their officers.

We are now one of the oldest Reptile Rescues in North America and known for taking and facilitating to appropriate placements, crocodilians and venomous snakes. Few rescues or shelters are trained in how to safely and humanely work with the larger, potentially dangerous reptiles.

Hart’s Reptile World could not be where it’s at today and progressed into International Reptile Rescue without the wonderful, dedicated and self sacrificing volunteers we’ve had over the years. Reptile rescue takes a certain kind of confident personality and we are blessed to have our share of volunteers with just that kind of spirit.

We were open to the public for over many years but closed in 2002. Our future vision is to have property donated to International Reptile Rescue where we can build a state of the art facility open to the public.

In early 2009, Hart’s Reptile World went Non Profit and is now called International Reptile Rescue.

We hope you’ll join our vision.


It seems so hard to understand,
As I look out across the land,
That all I view belongs to me,
I ought to take more time to see!

The distant hills and mountains high,
The rolling clouds and bright blue sky,
No one can take these views from me,
As long as I have eyes to see.

A timid deer with haunting look,
Who stands refreshed by yonder brook,
Knows not that he belongs to me,
Oh, what a thrilling sight to see!

The song of birds so gay and clear,
That fill the morning air with cheer,
And fragrant flowers of every hue,
That stand erect bedecked with dew.

All these and more belong to me,
If I but use my eyes to see.

When evening shadows gather nigh,
And twinkling stars light up the sky,
I hear my master say to me,
“I made it all for you to see”.

My heart grows warm with faith and pride,
To know that he is by my side.

Ray F Zaner