Growing up around family pets and the English countryside provided him with useful experience during his early years for a lifetime vocation. During his youth he enjoyed reading the works of other great naturalists like Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace which gave him aspiration to explore distant and exotic lands.
As a young boy he would often bring home sick or injured animals and care for them until they were fit enough to be released back into the wild. In fact the first of his many pets to come was a frog by the name of Freddy that came into his care with a broken leg.
The six year old Dr Venom kept the frog in a glass tank and caught flies to feed it. A few months later he had nursed the frog to back to health and with a fully mended leg, Freddy was now able to hop back to his pond in the wild. A whole string of patients were to follow, including an old Jackdaw with a broken wing and a flightless pigeon that he once rescued from a group of tormenting boys. He has since rescued and cared for thousands of wild and domestic animals in several countries.
“There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you helped a friend that would otherwise have perished. The most difficult thing about caring for wild animals is to eventually let them go.-
He continued to follow his wild aspirations, with the next step always being more challenging than the last. He developed a particular interest in poisonous animals and started to seriously research venomous predators by the age of ten when he acquired his first pet tarantula, a Mexican Red Knee.
“I was captivated by the hypnotic gait of my very first tarantula as it gently moved from one hand to the other - from that moment I was hooked on Spiders!”
At first his parents were concerned about this unusual if not worrying interest but they soon realised that it was more than just a passing phase and fully supported his ambitions by letting him use a spare bedroom of the family home to house his ever growing menagerie of exotic creatures.
Visits to zoological parks and museums ensued, becoming the regular weekend activity for the family.
“From the moment I saw the poisonous snakes and vipers in London Zoo, I developed a fascination for their deadly beauty – that would last a life time”
Awarding Bodies: NASA, BBC News round, ICI Wilton & The London Science Museum.
The award was presented by David Bellamy (Botanist & TV Presenter) During a VIP awards ceremony held in London. Awarded for his Conservational portrait depicting life on Earth. The Art work was blasted off from Cape Canaveral into outer space in a time capsule aboard the NASA Satellite; Space Arc, for who knows who or what to discover it.....
1994 Hall Garth Comprehensive School: Bronze, Silver & Gold Merit Awards
Vejay raised funds for Somalia Relief to save the life's of starving children in Africa by hosting a series of fund raising events for Somalia and Comic Relief, including a Public Display of Exotic Creatures and lecturing to a paying audience on Poisonous Creatures & Conversational Issues.
He had always been an ‘A Grade’ Art student and inspiration of the natural world is evident in his work. When he acquired his first SLR camera, he enthusiastically took up wildlife photography and won several photographic competitions. He developed a unique style of getting close to wild animals in their natural habitat and capturing some stunning images.
Vejay with Sir David Attenborough
'Vejay started to seriously study animals and wildlife during his secondary school years, using any spare time and holidays to study. He acquired a respectable menagerie of Exotic species at an early age and became well known in his local area, being dubbed “Spider Man” in the local press'
After selecting his options at Comprehensive school, Vejay went on to study at Business College. He gained a Diploma in Psychology at Sir William Turner´s College and developed his interest Animal behaviour noting the comparisons and differences between the way animals and humans behave.
Because of his knowledge of plants and animals he developed an interest in Naturopathy and went on to study Homeopathy and Holistic medicine. He also went on to study Information Technology & his most aspiring subject of Zoology, going on to specialize in the study of Venomous animals and Predators.
His other passions include creative writing, theater and the arts. Already an A Star student of Art & Design and having studied the Performing Arts in Tees Valley
Little Larry - A friendly face
At eighteen he traveled on his first real expedition to Ancient Egypt where he collected and studied the Hebrew Death Stalker; the world’s most deadly scorpion. He notes how at first the locals thought he was completely mad, as he handled the deadly ‘akrabs’ by hand and tweezers. But they soon warmed up to his skill and word that the ‘Poison Doctor’ was in the area spread through the west bank villages of the Nile. Soon the locals were bringing jars of scorpions, centipedes, spiders and solifugids to his hotel much to the horror of one unfortunate cleaner!
In 1998 he traveled to Ancient Egypt to collect and research the “Death Stalker”
Leiurus quinquestriatus hebreus
The worlds most deadly scorpion! During this expedition he was presented with the opportunity to study the ancient monuments and Tombs at Luxor and the ecology of the River Nile. During his visit to the Valley of Kings, he wrote;
After leaving school, he set up his natural history company Arachnia Enterprises International whilst studying and became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious:
'Shell Live Wire Awards' at the age of seventeen. The judges commented on how they had been “wowed by his knowledge and skill during the presentation”
In subsequent years Arachnia Enterprises became the one of the most successful Entomological Suppliers in Europe with an International client base, this allowed Vejay access to obscure species previously unavailable to his research.
In 1999 he won the “Barclays Business Award” and was also awarded the title “Business Man of the Year” by the Redcar & Cleveland Station Business Centre
He was highly commended by the Mayor & Loughborough Borough Council and interviewed by
ITV Television and BBC 'LOOK NORTH'
After his studies he started to travel around the Mediterranean Basin, carrying out field research for the next seven years
In 2004 he became the Director of the Conservation Centre; The Congo Zoo based in Tivoli World, the largest theme park on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain and was later elected
President of the International Zoological Society
Dr Venom & members of the International Zoological Society during the "Great Apes" Field Trip to Bio Park Fuengirola
He has since become a popular figure in local media and a regular guest speaker on several Spanish and English speaking television and radio stations as well giving lectures on Mediterranean wildlife. Subsequently he became an advisor to local town hall authorities in the province whom requested his counsel regarding introduction of the decree on dangerous exotic pets and poisonous animals
In 2005 Dr Venom was requested to present several local Television & Radio programmes on the Costa del Sol and has since appeared as a regular Broadcaster on Mijas Television, Talk Radio Europe, Mijas Radio, Central FM, RTB TV, Living in Spain Channel and Marbella Television
With regular media slots on Mijas Television due to popular request
Regular TV shows include the News & Views Program, Mijas Today and Mijas Radio in English
The Wild Watch Show
The Pets Show, Hannah Murray Show as well as the Children's show "Super Sonik" and "Buenos Noches y Buenos Suerté" in Spanish
"ARACHNOPHOBIA!" Hannah Murray - Talk Radio Europe
Dr Venom the Author
Vejay has been a keen writer & illustrator since the age of 6, when he written his first book and by the age of 10 he was already earning a Blue Peter badge!
He has since written both in English and Spanish for numerous highly regarded publications and societies including:
The Euro Weekly News, the British Tarantula Society, i - Marbella, the Olive Press, the Junta de Andalucia, the Sentinella, the International Zoological Society, amongst others
In 2010 he published his guide to Poisonous Creatures of the Mediterranean which has since received excellent reviews and media coverage. The book sold out in Book World stores in 3 months. Vejay very generously pledged to donate ALL PROFITS from the book to the terminally ill cancer patient hospice - Cudeca
Read More about Dr Venom's Writing career on the 'My Writes' page
Dr Venom the Artist
In 2012 he accepted an invitation to join the Andalusia International Artist's Association (A.I.A)
An Elite Society of Professional Artist's of varied styles based in Andalusia
Animal Rescue: Since his years travelling through the Mediterranean Region and living in Southern Spain he became quite emotionally involved with the plight of homeless animals. Which began as he recently arrived in Spain and rescued a mutilated kitten that was hiding under a refuse bin. The innocent little creature had been tortured by nasty tormentors and children that had been throwing stones and poking sticks for sheer amusement.
Vejay collected the tiny creature in his arms and took it immediately to the Vet. But it was in a sorry state; both eyes had been gouged out and clearly malnourished the kitten was very weak. On closer inspection it was discovered that most of its ribs were also broken - most likely the result of being kicked.
The Vet decided that the most appropriate and humane course of action was to end the poor creatures suffering and it was decided to put him to sleep.
Not too long after this incident, Vejay moved to his country home in the Antequera Valley where he befriended another stray cat which came to him for help. She was all skin and bones, malnourished and dying of thirst.
It was mid-summer and inland temperatures soar to over 40 degrees during the day, any animal would die within a few days without water.
Vejay took in the young cat and named her Beans - due to the fact the first meal he ever gave her was his own lunch that he was eating at the time; Fabada Asturiana, a traditional Spanish stew of beans & salt meats. "Not to mention she is a 'full of beans' character!"
"It is my belief that that those who have the ability to do what is right, have the responsibility to act!"
Beans became a happy part of the family and soon many other strays and injured animals were to join.
During his subsequent years in Southern Spain, Vejay has rescued and re-homed countless dogs, cats and the occasional Exotic Pet.
On one occasion he was warned that he could be fined for providing water and food for stray animals, but Vejay remained defiant in his stance against cruelty to animals:
Everyone has the right to drink Water -
"I will never standby & watch any animal starve - NOT whilst there is a breath in my body!"
"Over the years the names and characters of my friends have added to my memories, one in particular was an Iguana that I named 'Half-Face' due to the fact almost half of his face was missing from past abuse. The poor guy could not feed himself as he could not pick up the food with his mouth, so had to be hand fed everyday - it was very satisfying to see him gain a healthy weight and Survive"
In subsequent years he went on to win further accolades that recognised his achievements in his profession and conservation. He even has one of his paintings, depicting life on Earth, in outer space!
Now as an author, director, broadcaster and lecturer, he continues his drive for research and conservation in all boundaries of the Natural World.
“Ideas often come to me in the middle of the night, sometimes as dreams or just thoughts. So I keep a notebook and pencil next to my bed and have learned to write in the dark without seeing what I’m writing with either hand!”