Bernie was born in Elberfeld, Germany in 1921. He traveled to America, landing first in New York City, where he learned how to handle life in the Big Apple. From there, he traveled to Florida, making his home in the swamplands that many other alligators call home. It was here that he learned from his new friends about the threats facing so many animals, and he became devoted to conserving all creatures.
Bernie would return to Germany, where he met the female gator who would become his wife, Rosemarie. Together they would travel the world before settling back in south Florida to raise a family of gators. As his family grew, he and Rosemarie resumed their travels and learned more about conservation, eventually developing the idea that would turn into Safari Ltd®. Their goal was to create Toys That Teach® to educate children and adults alike about the wonderful animals of the world through the joy of play.