#59 < are Sicilian Western Hermann’s from the region of Madonie. They are unique in the fact that Tortstork is the only breeding program in the united states producing F2 (second generation) captive bred hatchlings from this particular region. But that isn’t what makes these two eggs so inspiring. These two eggs went to a man name Ivan Rodriguez, who a few months ago was a complete stranger to me, but he quickly became a good friend. Ivan had a spinal cord injury two years ago which left him a quadriplegic. He has partial paralysis of his arms and complete paralysis below his arms. Ivan had a love for breeding reptiles prior to his accident. Due to his injury he thought he would have to give up the enjoyment of reptiles for ever. That changed not too long ago. Not only did it change, but reptiles gave him a new outlook on his injury. He wasn’t going to let his injury get in the way of what he loves. From the moment he told me his story, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how hard it must be to do what he does on a daily basis. I have a new found respect for people who plow through their handicaps and don’t let them get in the way of what they love. Ivan received his eggs on 4/23/19, they arrived piping!!! From the conversations I had with him during them hatching, it brought me so much joy knowing that these two instahatch eggs brought him so much joy. I got to experience what I imagined how Ivan was like with his reptiles prior to his injury; accomplished, energetic, excited, & jubilant. For a split second, he didn’t think about his injury, he allowed the love of reptiles to reach deep within and grab his personality and excitement, pull them out to show him that Ivan does exist and is now needed for these baby tortoises to survive. Ivan relies on a lot of people to help him with his daily activities. Helping others, whether it is an animal, plant or human is one of the greatest things we can do. Ivan now has the ability to care for the two tortoises and enjoy them to the fulliest. When I’m having a bad day, or I’m annoyed that i have to soak 100 baby tortoise hatchlings, I quickly snap out of it and think about Ivan. Ivan wakes up and has to lay in bed until his wife or aid helps him into his wheel chair. He then immediately goes over to his reptiles to make sure they are okay. Reptiles inspire Ivan, but Ivan inspires me.
*Ivan wrote a review and explained a little of his injury and how reptiles in general help him through his daily activities. Read his review, maybe you too will be inspired.