Fred Antonio, Director of the Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC), has written an Animal Care Manual for the Animal Welfare Committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The manual is designed to provide excellence in husbandry for the Eastern Indigo Snake based on animal care recommendations, basic requirements, and best practices as endorsed by the AZA Snake Taxon Advisory Group. Due to continuing advances in scientific knowledge, the manual is considered a work in progress and will be updated regularly.
As a young teen, Antonio began collecting an impressive array of exotic pythons, monitor lizards, and venomous snakes. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University, he began his formal career in zoology as an Elephant Keeper at the Central Florida Zoo. Antonio was the Director of Operations/General Curator at the Central Florida Zoo prior to joining The Orianne Society in May, 2009.
Antonio’s interest in the Eastern Indigo Snake began early in his career when he successfully bred indigos in captivity at the Central Florida Zoo and the Sante Fe Teaching Zoo. In 2008, he published the first AZA Eastern Indigo Snake Regional Studbook and Population Management Plan to scientifically manage the captive population.
The Orianne Society is a 501(c)(3) wildlife conservation organization that was founded in 2008 to save the threatened Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi). Using the Eastern Indigo Snake as its flagship, the Society works nationally and internationally to conserve rare reptiles and amphibians.