Biography

Jake Willers was born in the beautiful city of Cambridge in the UK, in 1971. Although surrounded by family pets from day one, his relationship truly blossomed with animals from 1979 when his father Terry Willers bought a piece of land in the village of Shepreth, just outside Cambridge, where he built his dream home. At this time he began to take in wildlife to rehabilitate and this was the beginning of Shepreth Wildlife Park.

Jake spent the weekdays of his childhood living with his mother and sister in Cambridge and his weekends working at the wildlife park with his father. Alongside his affection for mammals Jake began nurturing a fascination for reptiles and invertebrates. At the age of 9 he was asked to care for a friend's corn snake for a few months; on one occasion it escaped and slept with him curled up under his sheets. By the age of 11 years, Jake had persuaded his mother to let him have his first pet, an Imperial scorpion. Keen to learn more about nature in general, at 16 Jake trained as a scuba diver and became fascinated in the underwater world.

At the age of 22 he became desperate to see more of the world and so travelled and worked in Australia for a year; this was partly to quench his desire of diving on the Great Barrier Reef. During this time he worked as a builder's labourer, a hostel manager and Harley Davidson chauffeur to fund the trip. (Oh, and had great fun surfing!)

On his return to England Jake decided to train for a career that would give him the option of emigrating to Australia in the future. He chose to train as a chef for two years. Having had a long-term fascination with flying and dangerous activities he also took up skydiving, a hugely satisfying hobby he still enjoys.

In 1995, Jake returned to Western Australia to fulfill a burning ambition to snorkel with the Whale shark on the Ningaloo Reef. While there he spent three months scuba diving and skydiving.

 

It was during this second visit to Australia while swimming with the whale shark that Jake's path became clear to him and he returned to Shepreth Wildlife Park to make a serious commitment to furthering its work. It wasn't long before he stamped his own identity on the place by creating a new exhibit, Water World and Bug City, dedicated to the creepy crawlies and underwater life of the wild. This was to be a turning point in his career as it was this feature which propelled Jake into the world of TV as presenter on National Geographic Channel's 'Insects From Hell' series.

 

Having spent so many years surrounded by wildlife, Jake found himself in some pretty tricky situations. When he was five he was bitten on the knee by a lion cub. At 13 he was attacked during the night by a kinkajou (honey bear). He was been bitten numerous times by snakes (once in the face by a 6ft boa constrictor), once on the hand by an alligator and on the foot by a Huntsman spider.

Jake's TV shows have gone from strength to strength and are still hugely popular with audiences over the world. His shows include; 'Insects From Hell' series I & II (13 episodes, National Geographic Channel), 'Mosquito Hell' (60 min, NGC), 'Pests From Hell' (60 min, NGC), 'Rogue Raiders' (6 episodes Five UK/Nat Geo Wild) and 'Wild Events' (7 episodes, Five UK).

In 2007 Jake moved from Cambridge, England to the US and formed NineCaribou Productions, LLC, a production company dedicated to expanding peoples' knowledge of wildlife and the world around us.

Jake currently resides with his wife, children and many pets near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA.