In what part of town do you live?
I live in Southwest Miami-Dade.
What do you like about that area?
I love that I can disconnect from the city when I’m out here. It’s a whole other world of people and wildlife and it gets you away from the craziness of Miami.
Are you originally from Miami?
Born and raised in the Kendall/ Pinecrest area. My parents are true Floridians,
Growing up here, did you think that you would stay in the area?
Yeah, for sure. I’ve never been a big fan of the cold, so I always knew that South Florida was my home.
Would you share a little about what you do?
Part of it would be my YouTube channel where I focus solely on animals. Growing up, I worked with wildlife for several years – all different animals. I currently have a lemur of my own as well as I breed all kinds of critically endangered tortoises and iguanas. Most people would call a YouTube person a content creator, but for me it’s more capturing content. Some of my most popular videos are swimming with otters. That’s something I would have done regardless if I had a YouTube channel.
How long have you been posting content?
YouTube for about a year and a half now, but animals pretty much my whole life.
How many subscribers are you up to?
Right now 992,000.
Any plans for when you hit a million?
Nothing planned, but it’s definitely a big milestone.
Would you walk us through a typical video that you capture?
I start out with my intro. I try to build the video up rather than hop right into it. Sometimes it’s an animal rescue. Sometimes, it’s building the animal enclosures. It kind of takes people on the whole journey.
What technology do you use to capture and edit?
I throw it in the editor on my iPad. I actually edit with just an app, which most people that I tell think I’m crazy. I film on a Canon and then edit everything and upload from my iPad. For the first eight months of my channel, I actually only filmed and edited on my phone.
What have you learned over the last 18 months? Where have you improved?
Definitely being natural on camera. You’re either a natural at it or you are not. I was definitely not totally confident with it, but have gotten to be really confident on camera.
What there’s something you could point to that helped you figure out how to be more confident?
Yes. Actually another YouTuber. He is one of the people that inspired me to start. His name is Brian Barczyk. He has a bunch of snakes, he’s been doing it for years, and he has about 3 million subscribers. He told me, ‘when you start your channel, you want to be yourself plus one. Be a little more energetic, a little more like You. You don’t want to overdo it because then people will say you’re fake, but you want to just be a little bit more than you would naturally be to keep people engaged and energized with the video.’
What do you enjoy most about it?
I think what I enjoy most about it is at the end of the day, whether it is swimming with otters, bottle feeding a tiger, or collecting iguana eggs, I’m getting to show people around the world all of these amazing things and they get to see the hands-on side of it. They can really connect with wildlife in a way that they wouldn’t normally.
What attracts you to animals?
That’s a hard question. I just love them. I think you’re born an animal person or you’re not, especially for the exotic stuff. You have to have a love and a passion for it because 90% of it is cleaning up poop. Being around them is just magical for me.
Do you have a favorite animal?
It depends on the species, I have my favorite lizard or monkey, but in general – maybe a Jaguar.
Do you own a Jaguar? Can you?
With the proper permits I could, but I don’t have that permit right now. I am in the process of getting some wildlife permits.
Would you share about visiting us last week at the drive through and a little bit about what you brought?
The last time I came, I had a Python. I had just gotten a call that there was an escaped python. I went and caught it and it just so happened that the neighborhood was across from where the market stand is. I’ve been coming to market since I was a little kid. Now, the drive through location is awesome and it’s great coming through on a Saturday or Sunday, getting a delicious smoothie and if it’s guacamole season, definitely getting some Guac.
Do you have any regular local restaurants?
Flanigans has always been one of my favorite growing up as a kid. I think it’s a South Florida staple.
What’s Miami best kept secret?
Miami best kept secret is definitely the Redland and the Everglades. When people come to this area, they’re like ‘I had no idea that this existed.’
What are you doing when it’s raining out?
I like to stay inside, clean up the house.
Do you have any favorite community groups that are important to you which you might like to share?
I like Send It 4 the Sea. They do a lot of local cleanups.
How do we find your videos?
If you guys want to watch my videos, you can just go on YouTube, search for Jacob Feder, and I’ll be the first one that pops up.
What question would you like to ask us?
(JF) What steps are involved in getting ready for the weekend market?
(A+W) During the week this time of year, we harvest avocados to ripen for guacamole, process what fruits are still in season for smoothies, and spend a day at the kitchen making and bottling turmeric concentrate. On Turmeric Heart weekends, which is the last weekend of the month, we get to the kitchen around 5am to start baking.
Do you any questions or words of advice that you would like to share with the community?
Look around and you’d be surprised how much wildlife is around Miami. Be environmentally cautious, pick up trash, because the animals out there suffer.
What have I not asked that I should have?
Maybe the future plans for my property. Right now I’m in the process of building animal enclosures so that I can breed these animals and bring up their numbers. This way we can have a genetic bank for all these species and educate people on what they can do to help their wild counterparts.