Can I trust this guy?

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Can I trust this guy?

Postby greebo » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:34 am

Hi all,

Me and my wife are animal lovers and recently got hold, by accident, of two baby (1 month old) Leopard Tortoises believed to be blind. My wife immediatelty took them when they were offered to her (she has a thing for the needy!) to save them from doom. She started surfing the web to find people with knowledge of these little critters to see if we can help them. It is then that she came accross the website and contacted a guy by the name of Chris. He told her that he gets called by the vets all the time to look at the sick exotics since he is an expert on these animals. Snakes, lizards, tortoises etc etc. Said he would come have a look but never came. After calling him again he apologized and claimed family crisis. So the next day we took the Ts to him in Edenvale where he lives. He looked and told us they have eye infections and treated the one more severe guy with betadine. He also gave some advice how to care for them and came across as a very nice guy with a great love for the animals. Told us that he has a warehouse full of animals including giant tortoises and many endangered species that he is breeding to try and increase the numbers. And he also told us that last year they broke into his place and stole almost all his animals. He did get some back though including two morphed reticulated pythons whom he also breed with.

The next day the little T that had the bad eye infection passed away. A very sad day for us and lots of tears from my dear wife. We contacted Chris and he was very upset and then told us he would sell us two of his 1 year old Leopards. We go all excited about that since little Doppie was now alone. He did however start to open his eyes and is eating well. This is when the strange behavior started. Christ told us he would bring the Ts to our place on the easter weekend. This fell through since it was a public holiday (the Monday) and he forgot. So he said he would come on Tuesday. He never arrived, only send an sms to say he is stuck in traffic on the N1 at 7:30pm. So he turned around and went home with the promise that he would bring them to my wife's workplace. Then on Wednesday no word from him. My wife called him and he said no he wil not make it for at her work but wull come at 7pm that evening. Well 7pm came and went and nothing. The phone only rings and no smsses are answered.

I then started searching for Chris and Edenvale and reptiles and found a thread here talking about an incedent regarding stolen reptiles and a guy called Christopher Beck that appeared in court regarding this. What does nto make sense is the articles talk about his son that mentioned the reptiles that were alledgedly stolen on SArepltiles and that they were given to him by his dad. The Chris we are dealing with has a 2 year old daughter, I dont beleive he has an old enough son. Could be his dad? Further investigation revealed that the Chris we are dealing with is indead called Christopher Beck.

So after this long email a few questions. Is this the same Christopher Beck that was involved in the theft of the reptiles from the park in Edenvale or was it maybe his dad? Does anyone know this guy and can we trust him? We would love to get little Doppie some companions. Chris also promised to help with the permits, he said he sees Nature Conservation regularly and would get the paperwork etc in order for the new arrivals and for the Doppie. Maybe he is just very busy taking care of all the animals he claims to have in a warehouse in Santdon and his breeding programs? Or maybe I am being navive?

I could only find one post made by him on these forums and that was under the username amandab, which is his wife. Here are links to their various websites:

Any info would be appreciated!

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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby bradmiller » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:53 am

As far as I know you cannot keep tortoises in Gauteng without special permit.

Not sure if this post still applies...
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Carpetpythons » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:05 am

Most of the information has been stolen from other websites on the Internet. All the mutation and morph information has also been plagiarised from some of the big American breeders websites. At no point does this clown give reference to any of the sites that he stole the information from. I would not trust a word out of this jokers mouth. It will be nearly impossible to have giant tortoises and endangered species in your care if you can't even properly string a sentence together.

There are also highly qualified veterinarians that will help your reptiles regardless of the fact that you have a permit or not. It's their ethical obligation to treat animals. They can also not disclose your personal information as that's a breach of confidentiality.
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Smeegle » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:07 am

Go with your gut feel, it will never let you down. This guy sounds very faulty indeed, I would write him off completely...
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Hoss » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:45 am

Yeah trust you gut, you'd be surprised how often it is right. Walk away.
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby michael » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:18 am

This guy is dodgy! His website is a mass of contradictions and I certainly wouldn’t trust him. Also his treatment of your tortoises sounds a bit like “hit and miss” therapy!
If you really want captive bred tortoises they are quite readily available, with all necessary permits, from a few breeders who frequent this site.
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Bushviper » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:02 pm

No private individual in Gauteng owns any "Giant tortoises" so that is all a lie.

Your Doppie does not need a companion and it is quite possible it could be a carrier of "runny nose syndrome" which can be lethal to tortoises. They can also just carry it and infect any new tortoises. You cannot ever release your tortoise or even donate it to a zoo because it could spread the disease.

I would keep the tortoise warm and feed him high quality foods and see whether he survives this coming winter. Even if he seems lonely dont worry about it they never interact with others of their own species except at breeding time.
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby greebo » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:44 pm

Thank you all for the replies on my post.

We came to the same conclusion that we should trust our guts and steer clear. Some phone calls later I spoke to some people that were involved with the court cases regarding the stolen reptiles and my suspicions were confirmed. Together with that and your inputs and my gut feel and this guy's behaviour all adds up to stay away! I understand turning state witness and having a good lawyer kept him out of jail.

Yes bradmiller, you are not allowed to have any tortoises without permits as I understand. We happened to rescue these guys from being "put down". Unfortunately little Tjoppie did not make it and today we also received some bad news regarding Doppie. My wife took him to a vet we found here in Centurion that treats tortoises because we were concerned about the bottom part of his shell. The bottom front part seems to be dead and soft. The vet confirmed that the little guy must have been hurt shortly after birth and it looks as if that part of the shell is infected and probably dead with no blood flow. This will most probably result in Doppies death sooner or later. We are treating him now with some prescription medicine but the vet does not have high hopes. If the infection is treated successfully and there is still blood flow to that part of the shell the Doppie might regenerate that part of the shell. If Doppie does survive the next month or two we will apply for the permits to keep him or send him on his way to the zoo or some place safe (in captivity though).We have a huge peace of land fully walled that would be perfect for a T so even if Doppie passes away we might still go ahead and get some permits and buy a new guy or two if we can.

Ever since people found out that we are interested in the tortoises we have received a few offers from people to take theirs off their hands because they have either limited space or too many babies or the Ts are destroying their gardens. We are in a very good position to house quite a few of these miraculous animals but I can imagine that to get permits for all will be next to impossible since all the "freebies" are "illegal". I am not sure of the species though.

Once again, thanks for the inputs!
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Jamster » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:26 am

My boss and good friend Mark Marshall aswell as his wife Lauren have a tortoise sanctuary here in Port Elizabeth called Humps and Bumps Tortoise Sanctuary. They keep angulates, leopards and parrot beaked tortoises. They just hatched about twenty little leopards which was amazing to see! They are so tiny with a little yolk sac attached to their bellies. Mark has twenty or so tortoises of his own which are mainly big leopard tortoises and roughly one hundred or so rehab cases. He travels up to joburg once a month or so on business so if doppie makes it, im sure Mark will gladly take him over from you guys. Just a suggetion. You can email him at If you do decide to contact him do so after this weekend as he is going away.

Cheers James.
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Re: Can I trust this guy?

Postby Gordvisr » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:04 pm


The email above seems like it is not working anymore. Does anyone know this person or his new email adress i really need some good advice.
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