When asked about the best part of his job, Peter Child's answer was simple.
"Dude, I own a zoo," he said.
"I work six days a week, and on the seventh day I still end up working, but I wouldn't give it up for the world. It's a kid's dream come true."
Mr Child is the founder of Canberra Reptile Zoo. He looks after hundreds of animals including snakes, lizards and crocodiles on a daily basis.
The zoo has been running for 20 years, and despite decades in the role, Mr Child said no two days were the same.
"My job is unusual or diverse because I'm doing something different every day," he said.
"It might be designing new enclosures for the blue-ringed octopus that's arriving, or helping people who want to own their first reptile, or doing shows or demonstrations at schools, or relocating snakes found in places they shouldn't be."
Mr Child has always had a fascination with reptiles, growing up with a variety of lizards and turtles.
But it was the isolation of working as a graphic designer that made him realise he wanted to turn his passion into a career.
"I'm a people person, and the graphic design job meant I was spending lots of hours in front of a computer by myself," he said.
"That job was hard, so I got a job at a pet store, and while I was there, customers found out I owned reptiles and people asked for help."
The original reptile zoo started out of Mr Child's home and featured 300 animals, with several crocodiles among them.
His collection moved into the current location at Nicholls in 2011 where it has since grown, more recently beyond just reptiles.
"We keep tawny frogmouths and owls and sugar gliders as well now, because they're either predators of reptiles or a main food source for them," Mr Child said.
The zoo is a place for Canberrans to see a variety of reptiles and Mr Childs said the facility is an opportunity for education.
"People love native animals like koalas and kangaroos, but it seems many loath snakes and lizards," he said.
"Education is the main role of the zoo, and that covers all aspects. Whether it's learning how to live alongside reptiles or having one as a pet or breeding them.
"We dispel myths people have about reptiles."
Teaching the general public about reptiles will take on an even bigger role from January 1, with the Canberra Reptile Zoo becoming a not-for-profit charity, focusing on conservation and education.
Mr Child is known to visit schools for reptile demonstrations, even being recognised by teachers who were introduced to his collection as students themselves.
He said while the shows are fun and interactive, it's also about creating empathy.
"No one wants to protect something unless they want to care for it," he said.
"If you have an empathy for a snake, and you know that they're mostly helpless and just a sausage with a face and lives in a tough world, you're more inclined to protect them."