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Steve & Jessica Reedy, Founders of Animal Quest

 

We started Animal Quest in September 2011 with about 15 small animals (mostly reptiles), that resided with us in a small apartment. Just over 4 years later, we have grown and house over 80 animals of various sizes on our property of 5 acres. We have performed over 1000 shows all over the Chicagoland area, as well as up into Wisconsin, and over into Indiana.

We love our animals, and we love sharing them with you.

Read more about Jessica (and a peek into her family life) on the Little Lake County Website here

More about us: The Questers!

Hi, We are Steve & Jessica Reedy, Animal Questers.

As youngsters, Jess and I were both nature nuts. You’d think we fell from a tree. Her adventure started with dogs, chinchillas and guinea pigs, and mine with lizards, dogs, and rats. It wasn’t until August of 2009 that our drive and passion for the animal world would bring the two of us together in southern California, her from Canada and me from northern Illinois… it was at America’s Teaching Zoo of Moorpark, California where we would meet, fall in love, and get married, all the while getting two non-stop years of hands-on animal husbandry, training, diversity, veterinary, education, conservation, and behavior experience.

The Exotic Animal Training and Management program at America’s Teaching Zoo, Moorpark College, California is a two-year program that gives students experience cleaning, feeding, and training animals, hands-on, while simultaneously pursuing academic classes and highly interactive labs on the topics of:

  • Animal diversity, exploring the ins and outs of what makes the various orders, classes, families, and genera of the animal kingdom what they are.
  • Animal care and handling, involving preparation of animal diets, enclosure design and modification, and proper and safe handling techniques for different species
  • Animal behavior, delving into what animals do, why they do it, how they do it, and how to modify what they do.
  • Animal training, focusing on the modification and management of animal behavior for accommodating husbandry practices and for entertainment, and the tools and techniques of the trade.
  • Wildlife conservation, taking a look at man’s impact on wildlife and what we can do to minimize detrimental effects on animals and their habitats.
  • Wildlife education, which involves doing live shows for school groups, summer camps, senior citizens, special needs groups, etc., and how to tweak presentations to better suit the age and type of group, as well as make it a more memorable and lasting experience than a simple lecture.
  • Animal health and safety, including but not limited to quarantine procedures, preventing contraction of zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases in animals and people, and animal escapes and other emergencies.
  • Veterinary procedures, involving training on and application of diagnostic techniques, types of treatment, reasons for treatment, administering treatment, and the ever-more importance of training in accommodating veterinary procedures such as blood draws, injections, and routine examinations.

Animals I trained and cared for in my time there include a troop of seven tufted capuchin monkeys, a pair of mountain coatis, an American alligator, an agouti (think of a big guinea pig on stilts), a raccoon, raven, red-tailed hawk, blue and gold macaw, red-crested turaco, snapping turtle, a collection of various invertebrates, lizards, snakes, and tortoises, a flock of Navajo churro sheep, and a miniature horse.

Jess worked with a spotted hyena, a capuchin monkey, an African crested porcupine, a golden eagle, a donkey, a pgymy goat, a military macaw, an olive baboon, a beaver, a striped skunk, and the very same snapping turtle, collection of invertebrates, lizards, snakes, and tortoises, and the same miniature horse, our mutual friend Nicholas.

We have since worked with a variety of animals including red foxes, mountain & white nosed coatis, an arctic fox, a camel, a zebu, an anteater, hedgehogs, a capybara, chipmunks, a black throated monitor, albino burmese pythons, and many other cool reptiles & animals. Yeah, we’ve worked with a few animals.

Working very closely (often up to our ears in various species’ poop) with such a wide variety of animals and having had the opportunity to create and deliver our own animal presentations has afforded us invaluable knowledge and experience. We bring that expertise to the table to give you the best Animal Quest experience we can muster.

Our little quester

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Our daughter, Ava, was born just 10 months after we started Animal Quest. Already she loves the dogs, pigs and chickens best. We hope she will grow to love all animals as much as we do.

 

{Random} Fun facts about us:

~Steve is a trained Ninja and self-taught banjo player.

~Jess is a published author and avid scrapbooker/crafter.

~Ava has a special bond with both Nuna (one of our chickens) and Waldo (patagonian cavy) – both let her touch them as much as she wants but they don’t like others touching them.

~Steve and Jess had their very first date at Disneyland.

~Twitch (coatimundi) always gets a little crazy during the dinner hour so we have to make sure we bring his dinner with us if we are at a show during this time, which we now refer to as: “The Twitching Hour.”