Terry Lilley was born in Southern California and learned to surf, dive and fish from his father at an early age of six. Terry loved nature and started collecting snakes, lizards, hawks, falcons and owls and by age 15 had a collection of over 300 wild animals. He carried his hobbies onto college where he graduated in the field of Biological Sciences and Endangered Species Management.
During college Terry became a professional surfer and started to travel the world surfing, diving and studying reptiles and marine life. He then started the first ever captive breeding center for rare and endangered reptiles called Central Coast Reptile Research Center and a public display called Reptile World. Mr Lilley was the first to learn how to captive breed over 75 reptile species and he produced over 75,000 babies that went to zoos worldwide and universities and we used to release them back into the wild to save rare species from going extinct.
His huge reptile collection consisted of over 3,000 specimens from giant pythons, monitor lizards, huge land iguanas, Austrian frilled lizards, albino snakes to geckos that were even thought to be extinct at the time. His captive breeding successes were featured in over 300 news and magazine articles and were in TV shows from National Geographic to the Crocodile Hunter and several major Hollywood movies.
In 1999 Mr Lilley sold his captive breeding center and resumed his world wide travels studying coral reefs and marine life and started his underwater educational movie series for school education. Currently Mr Lilley has one of the largest libraries of underwater marine life movies consisting of over 4,000 hours of video he has shot in Hawaii, California, Palau, Mexico, The Philippines, Indonesia, The Bahamas, the Caribbean and The Galapagos Islands. This massive underwater movie production is being used to educate kids in school worldwide and the general public through social media and TV shows.
Mr Lilley is also working extensively with the scientific community doing coral reef studies which include one of the first ever world wide coral disease research programs. He has worked with NOAA, the USGS, University Of Hawaii, State Of Hawaii, Reef Check, Surfrider Foundation, Reef Guardians Hawaii, Eyes Of The Reef, Hawaiian TV News Stations and many other scientific institutions.
Currently Mr Lilley is doing an ongoing yearly TV show about shark behaviour on National Geographic Go Wild and a weekly newspaper column about marine life in the Garden Island News in Kauai. He is also finishing up a major online marine science program here in Hawaii and a professional surfing movie to be used to educate Hawaiian school kids about the relationship between the surf, coral reef, marine life and beaches.