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World Chelonian Trust Trustee
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Sharon Chancellor's love of animals started in Southern California, where at the age of six she would follow her older brother into the hills looking for snakes, lizards, bugs, spiders and anything else that caught her eye. Moving to Pennsylvania only made things worse when her family moved into a community near a wooded area with a pond where some of the coolest insects in the US could be found (from a kid's point of view!). Her mother gave up resisting when Sharon made a large wolf spider her pet, and ran around saving every preying mantis she found in the road.
Moving to Northern California in the late 70's, Sharon's family finally put down roots. After junior college, she transferred to UC Davis and earned a BS degree in microbiology, finishing it with a husband and a toddler in tow. In 1995, she was accepted into the Medical Technology Training program at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento Ca. Her second child, and last, had arrived just 10 months earlier. Just a few weeks after taking the last of the national and state board exams for Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Sharon was hired on at Idexx VS in the Microbiology Dept and continues to work there today.
Sharon's first experience with chelonians began during her later college days when she spotted a juvenile leopard tortoise at a local pet store. Deciding to read first before buying she learned quickly that good knowledge is golden and that this tortoise was not for her. A few months later she bought her first chelonian, a male Testudo horsfieldii, and was told by the owner of the store to feed him raw hamburger once a week. From her previous reading she knew this info was bad, her search began, and led her to the internet and into a community of like minded people.
Through this community she learned of the Asian turtle crisis and the general call for people to take on a serious interest in an Asian species. She chose Cuora galbinifrons and immersed herself over the next two years in study of that species, learning about difficulties not only facing Asian turtles in their native habitat, but the enormous difficulties in acclimating some of the more fragile species to captivity.
Sharon currently works with four Asian species and is the co-moderator of the Russian Tortoise chat list created by Joe Heinen. She enjoys helping people with the common problems that come up with the keeping of chelonians. This chat list can be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RussianTortoise/
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