An interview with Dãv Kaufman
From southeast Minnesota to New Caledonia, in the southwest Pacific Ocean, and destinations in between, Dāv Kaufman takes viewers on trips chasing reptiles via his Reptile Adventures channel on YouTube.
And it all began with a Garter Snake named Sparrow.
“I was nine-years old and caught a Garter Snake in my front yard. I named it Sparrow for some reason. This began my obsession with reptiles that continues until today,” explained Dāv.
Feeding his Reptile Obsession
Dãv’s motto is research, research, research, for all reptile owners.
“Starting in elementary school, I read everything I could get my hands on and I still have some of the same books,” he said. “I also met and befriended other people who were into reptiles and learned as much as I could from them.”
Dāv strongly believes in the non-traditional route for research in this internet age.
“Books are peer reviewed and therefore the information is credible unlike much of the information you find online about reptiles,” said Dāv. He recommended joining a local herpetological society for reliable information as well.
First and Favorite
Of all the reptiles Dāv has researched and herped, he does have a favorite.
“I love all of them, but the Bull Snake is my favorite because it was the first species I successfully bred. I’m still breeding them to this day,” he said.
There are relatively simple reasons why the Bull Snake takes the lead over other reptiles for him. “I really could write a book about this. They are a lot easier than other snakes. You need to keep them warm, well fed, and they will breed.”
Getting a Reptile? Learn as Much as You Can
Dāv stressed the importance of thorough research and learning as much as you can before making any reptile your pet.
One source of great information for present and future reptile owners is Dāv’s “In the Wild” series on his YouTube channel.
He said, “In these videos you see the reptile in the wild. This provides insight into how to properly care for them. I think they are a good resource for beginners and experts.”
From DVDs to YouTube
In the beginning of his careerDāv developed a reptile documentary series that was distributed on DVD.
“I was going to make a fourth movie in the series, but DVDs were becoming obsolete. I decided to put the footage I had already filmed on a YouTube channel,” he said. “When I graduated college, I decided to rebrand it to Dāv Kaufman’s Reptile Adventures.”
The channel grew exponentially and now it is his primary employment. “I’m loving every minute of it. Staying true to yourself and your vision along with hard work, dedication, and an undying work ethic is the key to my channel’s success,” Dāv added.
Dāv said another large part of his success is input from his fans.
“I ask and listen to what the fans would like to see. Interaction with those who support you is one of the biggest keys to gaining more followers,” he explained. “I also use all methods of social media to reach more people. This is key and often overlooked.”
His independent film background is clear in the high-quality videos on his channel.
Dāv said, “I film and edit my videos like mini movies. I put a lot of effort into making each video meet a high bar for quality. If I do not exceed that bar, I won’t post it.”
Trips of a Lifetime
Herping 2,500-year-old wells in the deserts of Israel and traveling across the remotest parts of Ecuador to find the Chocoan Bushmaster were two trips that first come to his mind.
Dāv admitted to one trip that is above all others.
“New Caledonia was the trip of a lifetime,” he explained. Incredibly, Dāv was the first person in the world to film the Terror Skink in the wild. It was only the fifth or sixth living specimen ever found.
“That trip will never be duplicated,” he ended.
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