Zoo Med Laboratories

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Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc.
IndustryPets and Zoos
Founded1977; 47 years ago (1977)
FounderGary Bagnall
San Luis Obispo, California
United States
Key people
  • Gary Bagnall (Founder/CEO)
  • Steve Dalrymple (COO)
  • Ken Fontes (CFO)
  • Rita Zarate (VP Sales)
  • Reptile
  • Aquarium
  • Bird Care Products
Number of employees

Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc. is a manufacturer of pet products specializing in reptile, aquarium and bird products. The company was founded by Gary Bagnall in 1977 and is based in San Luis Obispo, California.


At age 19, Gary Bagnall started a live reptile import/export business called "In Cold Blood"[1] out of a one car garage in Costa Mesa, California. In 1978, Gary partnered with Elaphe snake breeder, Lloyd Lemke and the name changed to Orange County Zoological.[2] In 1979, Gary and Lloyd parted ways, and the name changed again to California Zoological Supply.[3]

Between 1979 and 1981, California Zoological Supply was the first to import Uromastyx aegyptius, Pacific Island boas, and albino Columbian red-tailed boas into the United States.[4]

In 1984, while running California Zoological Supply (i.e. Cal Zoo), Gary procured the first vitamin supplement designed specifically for reptiles under the trademark name "ReptiVite".[5] With this product, Gary split the business into two, keeping Cal Zoo for importing live reptiles, and naming the dry goods portion of the business Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc. (i.e. Zoo Med).[6]

In 1993, Zoo Med invented the first UVB fluorescent lamp for reptile care. Due to its ability to help reptiles synthesize Vitamin D₃, which was previously not possible without direct access to sunlight, this lamp is written up in herpetology books[7] [8] as essential[9] for keeping old world chameleons[10] [11]and many other species of reptiles in captivity.[12][13][14]

Today Zoo Med's products have expanded to include foods and supplies for reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, birds, and small mammals.[15]



Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc. partners with conservation groups such as the Turtle Survival Alliance,[16] the Tortoise Preservation Group,[17] and the International Iguana Foundation[18] to protect endangered reptiles and their habitats. The Turtle Survival Alliance and the Tortoise Preservation Group host annual conferences sponsored by Zoo Med that discuss strategies for conservation of the world's threatened and endangered turtles and tortoises.


Zoo Med also partners with aquarium and reptile societies and clubs,[19] and the Pets in the Classroom grant program to provide children and teachers with supplies they need to get their first pet.[20]


Gary Bagnall is chairman of the board for 501(c)(6) nonprofit United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK). USARK is an advocacy group for responsible herpetoculture.

Booklets Published By Zoo Med

Title Author Year Published ISBN
Zoo Med's Beginner's Guide to Amphibians Rademacher, Ashley 2016 978-615-43630-2
Zoo Med's Beginner's Guide to Snakes Quinn, Andrew 2014 978-0-9652471-3-9
Zoo Med's Beginner's Guide to Crested Geckos Russell, Eric 2014 978-0-9652471-8-4
Zoo Med's Guide to Bettas Rademacher, Ashley 2010 978-0-578-05913-6
Zoo Med's Guide to Tortoises Rademacher, Ashley 2012 978-0-9652471-6-0
Zoo Med's Guide to Box Turtles Wilkins, Heather Leigh 2015 978-0-9652471-6-3
Zoo Med's Guide to Leopard Geckos Morgan, Jim 2014 978-0-9652471-7-7
Zoo Med's Guide to Bearded Dragons Klavir, Josh 2014 978-0-9652471-9-1
Zoo Med's Guide to Reptile Care Bagnall, Gary 2011 978-0-9652471-1-5
Building a Paludarium Elston, Andrew 2018 978-0-692-13462-7
Proper Care and Maintenance of Water Turtles de Vosjoli, Philippe 2017
Proper Care and Maintenance of Hermit Crabs Klavir, Josh 2014


  1. Ferguson, Mike (January 1977). "World's Largest Pet Store". Pets-Supplies-Marketing Magazine.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. Barnes, Mike; Dillon, Tyrone (January 1995). "Where Do All Those Reptiles Come From?". Reptiles Magazine.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Bagnall, Gary (March 1988). "The Tortoise Race is On". Pets-Supplies-Marketing Magazine.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "A Serious Case of Hobby Pox". Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC | CORAL Magazine | Microcosm Publishing. 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  5. Harris, Gardiner (February 20, 1992). "Zoo Med Labs: A Slithering Success Story"". The County Telegram.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Royer, Philippe (2016). "Gary Bagnall l'âme de Zoo Med". Reptil Mag (in French). No. May/June/July.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link) CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. Coborn, John (1994). Green Iguanas and Other Iguanids. TFH Publications, Inc. p. 31. ISBN 0-7938-0272-5.
  8. Mader, Douglas (2006). Reptile Medicine and Surgery (2 ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 37, 1082. ISBN 978-0-7216-9327-9.
  9. Fife, Jerry. Star Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Geochelone elegans and Geochelone platynota. Living Art. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-9787556-2-1.
  10. de Vosjoli, Philippe; Gerguson, Gary (1995). Care and Breeding of Chameleons (1 ed.). Santee, CA: Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc. pp. 2, 47. ISBN 1-882770-30-7.
  11. Ferguson, Gary; Murphy, James; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Raselimanana, Achille (2004). The Panther Chameleon : Color Variation, Natural History, Conservation, and Captive Management. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Pub. Co. pp. 74–75. ISBN 1-57524-194-3. OCLC 52418030.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  12. Gurley, Russ. Sulcatas: African Spurred Tortoises In Captivity. ECO Publishing & Distribution. p. 21.
  13. Ebenhack, Amanda (2012). Health Care & Rehabilitation of Turtles and Tortoises. Vol. 1. Living Art. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-9787556-8-3.
  14. de Vosjoli, Philippe; Mailoux, Robert (1997). General Care and Maintenance of Bearded Dragons. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc. p. 21. ISBN 1-882770-40-4.
  15. "Zoo Med's Gary Bagnall Looks Back at 40 Years in Business". digitalmag.petproductnews.com. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  16. "Partners are the Key to Our Success". Turtle Survival. Turtle Survival Alliance. 2018. p. 3.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "2019 TTPG Conference on Captive Care and Breeding of Turtles and Tortoises". The Batagur. Vol. Fall 2019, no. 9. Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group. 2019. p. 10.
  18. "Our Supporters | International Iguana Foundation". iguanafoundation.org. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  19. Herrmann, Dr. Hans-Joachim; Ott, Gerhard; Staeck, Dr. Wolfgang; Bagnall, Gary; Schiller, Erik; Schäfer, Frank (2017). Aquaristik Fachmagazin (in German). Vol. 258. Germany (published December 2017). ISBN 978-3897452671.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  20. petsintheclassroom. "Pet Care Trust Presents Crystal Apple Awards | Education Grants". www.petsintheclassroom.org. Retrieved 2020-04-14.

External Links

This article "Zoo Med Laboratories" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.