Shawn grew up in Ohio on a relatively remote farm. He spent much of his time running around the fields and woods collecting wildlife for his adolescent studies and admiration. He was quick to save a baby bird fallen from the nest or an orphaned ground hog on the road...and even quicker to catch a frog, salamander, turtle or snake when they crossed paths. This early exposure to wild things and his two childhood heros, Tarzan and Jacque Cousteau, led him to follow a career in biology with him obtaining a Bachelor of Science in zoology and then later a Master of Science as well.
Into the Jungles
Shawn joined military service to pay for his college and volunteered to go to the jungles of Central America hoping that it would be as awesome as he envisioned. He was not disappointed. While in the rainforests he collected boas, scorpions and lizards much to the dismay of fellow soldiers. He has been hooked ever since and has now traveled around the world researching, photographing and guiding tours into the wilds! He has fallen in love with the Amazon Basin of Peru so much that he purchased a home in the city of Iquitos and 65 acres of primary rainforest on which he built a 2 story thatched roof bungalow where he gets back to the basics.
Shawn's many passions all revolve around his love for the wild things and wild places on this Earth. Sharing his passion with others is important to him, so Shawn started Wildland Tours
so he could educate and inspire others about the natural world around them. In addition to his travels he owns a company, Art by Evolution
, that provides skull and skeletal preparations for scientists, museums, and private collectors around the World. Some of his creations have even appeared in the movies Spiderman 3 and Transformers 2 as well as in documentaries for National Geographic, PBS, The Smithsonian Channel and The Discovery Channel. Shawn was host for three seasons of the hit series Python Hunters
on Nat Geo Wild
. Combining his love for photography, conservation and crocodilians he started White Gator Productions
to help raise funds for crocodilian conservation programs worldwide.
Shawn currently lives in central east coast Florida on a rural piece of property with wild indigo snakes, black racers, watersnakes, ratsnakes, glass lizards, gopher tortoise, and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes. He has a pair of nesting Osprey and Great Horned Owls in his backyard, as well as visiting Sandhill Cranes, Ibis, Herons, Pileated Woodpeckers and other wildlife. Captive animals in his breeding/study collection include albino alligators, crocodiles, alligator snapping turtles, blue tongued skinks, cobras, rattlesnakes, giant pythons and a beagle...all of which he enjoys with his wife Jen and son Thorne. Shawn spends a lot of his spare time searching for pythons in the Everglades and working on several documentaries involving the wild population of Burmese Pythons in south Florida.