Greg West scales up reptile habitats for Animal Planet TV series

2019 Spring / Career / Profiles / March 16, 2019
Story by Anika Van Wyk | Photos by Leah Hennel
SAIT Civil Engineering Technology graduate finds TV success in building custom living spaces for reptiles.

Greg West attributes his success to always putting the customer first, even when those customers are cold blooded and fork tongued. West is the founder of Cornel’s World, North America’s premier custom reptile cage builder, and the star of Scaled, an Animal Planet TV series. After graduating from SAIT in 2000, West got a job in civil engineering. When he realized it wasn’t sparking joy, West shed that skin and transformed what was once his hobby — building reptile habitats — into his career.

“Now my work has gone beyond cool, and I’m so proud of what I do and what we have created as a business,” West says.

Sharing the love of lizards

He admits there isn’t a lot of real life in reality TV, but West enjoys creating the kind of specialty habitats seen in the show — one favourite is a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure-themed phone booth for a monkey tailed skink. He also likes inspiring a greater understanding of the creatures he’s loved since childhood.

“I didn’t realize how many people would see our show, love it, and reach out to tell us they’ve now bought their first lizard or snake,” West says. “My daughter Emma, now 13, was in the show’s education segments, and being able to include family was really special.”

Watch West in action on the first season of Scaled

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