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About the Author: Melissa Kaplan began working with reptiles a decade ago, when she was no longer able to work with birds or mammals, incorporating her reptiles into her work as a wildlife educator and wildlife rehabilitator, building on her interests and training in animal behavior observation and clinical veterinary nursing. As reptiles rapidly increased in popularity without a corresponding increase in quality care information, Melissa focused on reptiles in her research and education efforts. Co-founder of the Reptile and Amphibian Rescue Network in Los Angeles, and the North Bay Herpetological Society in Sonoma County, California, Melissa has written extensively on reptile care and health for pet, herpetocultural, wildlife rehabilitation and humane education publications. Her paper, Reptile Rehabilitation, is a popular reprint in the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council's literature list. Melissa wrote the chapters on reptile rehabilitation and the use of reptiles in public education, in herpetocultural compendium, and collaborated with zoologist Adam Britton, Ph.D. on a popular and critically acclaimed iguana care video. Melissa was able to combine her interest in education and reptiles in her master's thesis when she researched how teachers keep reptiles in their classrooms. This resulted in an extensive teacher's guide on the characteristics and care of the captive reptiles, as well as identifying the special concerns of reptiles kept in a classroom. For the past seven years, Melissa has been a host in both the Veterinary Information Network's and America Online's Reptile and Amphibian Forums, as well as creating an extensive iguana and herp website at http://anapsid. org. Melissa is presently owned by a cyclura iguana, several turtles and tortoises, a cuddly blue-tongued skink, a ball python, and 7-year-old Rugwort, a diminutive rescued green iguana who is thrilled to be, for now at least, the alpha male.
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