Team Member Bios

Michael

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Michael Ralbovsky has taken his lifelong love of reptiles and developed an approach to natural history education that has made Rainforest Reptile Shows Inc., his North Boston-based, educational outreach company, famous throughout the United States. Childhood asthma kept Michael out of the furry pet world most of us are used to, and planted him firmly in the realm of scales and claws. He got his first pet snake when he was five years old and he has been learning from his reptilian encounters ever since. Michael is now sharing these educational experiences with as many people as possible!

As the child of an Air Force Serviceman, Michael is widely traveled and never misses a chance to learn about the local slitherers and crawlers. While living in Florida, Michael had many opportunities to interact with the neighborhood alligators, venomous and non-venomous snakes, and various other reptiles and amphibians. He cannot resist devouring every herpetology publication he sees, and has developed an extensive cache of knowledge that makes his presentations unique and fascinating and most of all FUN!

Ralbovsky obtained a BS degree in Biology, but gained his most valuable experience as an animal keeper at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. While working at the Alligator Farm, Michael also helped in conducting behavioral research studies with Dr. Kent Vliet from the University of Florida. Michael was promoted through the ranks from keeper to Operations Manager and was one of the few people in the world that could interact with the monstrous-sized Gomek, one of the world largest crocodiles. In all, Michael has worked with and gained an in-depth knowledge of all twenty-three species of Crocodilians, not to mention the 17*9* saltwater crocodile giant at The St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. Michael also has over 25 year’s experience with all types of venomous snakes.

Michael currently lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife and business partner, Joaney M. Gallagher, and lots and lots of animals! Michael started Rainforest Reptile Shows Inc. in 1993 to help promote his love of the natural world and his concern for rainforest preservation. In his continuing effort to discover new ways to spread the word, Michael has worked with national companies like Petco as a consultant on proper reptile care, and many zoos and animal caretakers. Of course Michael, works with children at all age/ability levels at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Boy/Girl Scouts  of America, the Boston Children*s Museum and countless numbers of public, private and home schools, and anywhere people want to learn about Michael’s favorite family members.

Always wanting to spread the right way about caring for these amazing animals, Michael partnered with many law officals. Michael has developed a training program for law enforcement agencies all over the United States and even Internationally! In his classes he teaches officers about how to capture potentially dangerous, illegal and legal, reptile species. He does this all in a way to help preserve the animals welfare and to make sure these animals are always treated with kindness and love.

 

 

 

Joaney

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Joan grew up in a house full of pets. She had lived on a gentleman’s farm for many years as teenager caring for a variety of animals both domestic and wild. Being in contact with these animals Joan grew a fond love for animals. This is an integral part of Rainforest Reptile Shows’ (RRS) success since its founding in 1993. In addition to handling and caring for the reptiles and amphibians that make up the RRS family, Joan manages all the day-to-day responsibilities of running the business

Joaney brings a wealth of experience to RRS. Their goal being to preserve the quality of life for human beings through education. Before co-founding RRS Joan attended NSCC , she was a special needs caseworker , she worked as a dietary technician with the elderly, and took over her father’s environmentally conscious industrial and commercial cleaning business. For the last 23 years she has worked directly with our curator.

Joan has worked extensively with crocodilians, snakes both venomous and non vemonous, turtles, lizards, amphibians and many others some even have feathers or fur. Not only is her love for animals an asset to RRS but also her love for people. Joaney now dedicates all her time to RRS and the 600 animals that live there. She strongly believes in improving the quality of our lives by educating about the natural world and helping to preserve our earth.

Joan meet Michael Ralbovsky cofounder and RRS curator, while visiting Florida. They maintained a long distance relationship for over a year. She later proposed to Michael in the enclosed habitat of “GOMEK,” the largest crocodile held in captivity at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. Her newest venture is her 501 (c) 3 Refuge. (RRS OASIS Reptile (and animal) Refuge and Sanctuary, Offering Animal Support Inspiring Survival) Joaney loves to dive, hike, fish, read and particpate in anything outdoors. She has traveled all over the world including places like South America, Central America, Africa and throughout the USA.

 

EmmaLee

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EmmaLee Eng has been involved with animals since the day she was born. Her father had a huge passion for all animals, so growing up she was surrounded by dogs, cats, frogs, geckos, fish, rabbits, turtles and prairie dogs. In the 4th grade on career day while all of the other kids excitedly talked about dreams of being figure skaters and police officers, EmmaLee eagerly presented to the class that she dreamed of being an “Animal Rescuer”. She went on to graduate from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Ecology & Conservation.

After graduating, EmmaLee worked in the field studying horseshoe crab ecology in Long Island Sound for Project Limulus. At Project Limulus she tagged horseshoe crabs in the wild and studied the data to determine the health of the LIS populations. Additionally, she taught public outreach programs across the state. Wanting to gain more animal experience, she decided to intern at a private zoo in Connecticut. There she was able to work with a variety of animals such as orangutans, camels, and cheetah. She was eventually offered a full time position caring for many animals including penguins, hyena, and lemurs. She raised baby kangaroos, baby toucans, and even helped with baby fishing cats and baby gibbons! At LEO, EmmaLee also worked on outreach programs for the zoo’s “Zoo School”, where children of the zoo’s members were invited to spend the day learning about the animals.

EmmaLee is now an educator for Rainforest Reptile Shows. She has been public speaking since she was 9 years old, and is very comfortable in front of even the largest of groups. She currently performs the “Reptiles Rock” show, and also cares for the small snakes at RRS OASIS. When she can, she enjoys helping to care for the venomous snakes, the large snakes, and the crocodilians.

 

Kristen

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Kristen grew up in Beverly, MA. Her passion for working with animals stems back as far as she can remember.

She graduated from Essex Agricultural High School in Animal Science as Outstanding Agricultural Student and a student farm manager.

After high school Kristen attended Unity College (America’s Environmental College) in Maine. She Graduated with a degree in Wildlife Biology. During college she completed her independent study in herpetology and went on to complete her internship in reptile care and rehabilitation.

Since welcoming Kristen to RRS in 2002, Kristen has not only melded perfectly into the position of facility manager but also is one of our traveling herpetologists.

When not in our facility or on the road, Kristen enjoys time with her family, wandering at the local wildlife preserves and cooking for family and friends.

 

Mack

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Mack Ralbovsky is the son of co-owners Michael and Joaney. Mack has had the experience and opportunity to grow up with not just your normal cats and dogs, but many exotic animals at Rainforest Reptile Shows. Since the day that Mack was born he has been an animal lover. Most children had their normal chores after school, but Mack went home to clean and take care of all different kinds of reptile and amphibian species.

After taking care of reptiles and amphibians for almost two decades, Mack decided to branch out and get more experience with other animals. He had become an intern at a small private zoo in Connecticut, working with mammals and birds, such as cheetah, giraffe, many different monkey species, ostrich, and many more! After a year of being an intern, Mack worked his way up to being a full time keeper primarily working with large hoofstock.The animals in his care constisted of giraffe, zebra, and warthog, and many others. A few years past, and Mack had started to miss his smooth scaley friends.

Subsequently, Mack knew where he belonged. He made his way back to Massachusetts to help educate people of all ages about not just reptiles, but all animal species. Mack is now the venomous snake keeper. He takes care of animals like, cobras, rattlesnakes, and vipers. Mack also finds himself being one of Rainforest Reptile Shows’ senior educator and traveling herpetologists. Through all his experiences, Mack now knows he wants to follow in his parents footsteps at Rainforest Reptile Shows. His goals are to help educate as many people as possible about the importance of these animals and the ecosystems they live in!

 

 

Amy

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Amy Travers is the senior educator at RRS. She came to the company in 2013. She has a degree in wildlife biology, and has many years of experience working with a wide variety of animals, including birds of prey, at the Museum of Science and Audubon Nature Institute. Amy also specializes in animal training. RRS has a satellite facility in Cape Cod that she runs- so when she isn’t out performing shows on the Cape she is taking care of all those on her own!