Next Gen Herpetologist

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On the 11th of February 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Grahamstown Rotary Club at the Graemian Centre, Graeme College. The talk was well received with over 30 people attending on the day. I spoke about the common and endemic species of snake found in the Albany area, and what to do if one encounters a snake in their daily lives. In addition to detailing the snakes of… Read More

On Sunday the 5th of February I hosted the first critter walk of 2019. Unlike previous critter walks, this one was geared towards collecting food for the Grahamstown branch of the SPCA. The event was well received, with quite a few people coming on the day and donating dog and cat food. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured… Read More

From the 5th to the 8th of February I took part in the Albany Museum, ‘Reptile Week’, in which I presented snake demonstrations to over 550 students in just four days. Although tiring, the experience was incredibly rewarding with many kids taking the opportunity to touch and interact with a snake for the first time in their lives. Most of the students were younger than nine years old and thus I opted… Read More

On wednesday the 14th of November I hosted the last snake demonstration of 2018 in front of the Rhodes University, on Barratt lawns. The demo was incredibly well-attended with over fifty coming along on the day. At the snake demo I showcased all the snakes that I had removed from Grahamstown properties the week before. Because of the warm weather that preceded the demo, the talk was also well-attended. So much so… Read More

The the 9th of September, I attended the WESSA/ Grocott’s Mail #CelebrateNaturalHeritage Bio-Bash and Photo Walk at the Makana Botanical Gardens. The day was designed to teach the youth of Grahamstown about the amazing wildlife that surrounds them. It also aimed to ignite some creative flair through encouraging artistic expression through photography. My colleagues (Anthony Evlambiou, Bruce Roestoff and Cara Trivella) and I helped out by guiding the students through the gardens… Read More

On the 12th of October I accompanied EOH (Coastal and Environmental Services) to Peddie to do an informal talk on snake awareness for workers of the Eastern Cape Roads Service. In Peddie, work is underway to improve the road infrastructure of the area. Unfortunately, human-snake conflict is high due to the remote and wild settings the workers find themselves in. I was called in to help mitigate the conflict by teaching the… Read More

On the third of September I did a snake demonstration for students of the Graeme College Junior School. The demonstration started with a short overview of the snakes of Grahamstown and was followed by a bit of information about snakebite and what to do if one encounters a wild snake. The kids were very excited and eagerly asked questions about all the snakes on display. After the initial introduction, I showed them… Read More

On Monday, the 1st of October I delivered a snake talk to COSATU Project Management Delegates from Rhodes Business School, at the the National English Literary Museum (NELM). The talk dealt with snake identification and myths and was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the delegates took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes that… Read More

On Friday, the 28th of September myself and Dr Shelley Edwards delivered a snake talk to the entire Kingswood College High School in their school chapel. The talk dealt with snake biology and identification and  was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the students stayed behind to see the snakes on display. Although some of the students… Read More

On Wednesday, the 26th of September I delivered a snake talk and demonstration to Grade 9 learners at Victoria Girls High School. Although some of the girls were scared of the snakes, many of the girls took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes on display. Some of the girls handled a snake for the first time in their lives. The talk was delivered to the entire ninth grade and… Read More

On Tuesday the 12th of June, myself and Dr Shelley Edwards presented a snake demonstration for members of the Kingswood College Environmental Club. The demonstration was well received and after a short introduction, most students took the opportunity to handle the snakes on display. It was a great time spent with some enthusiastic students, and I look forward to my next talk at the school.

At midday on the 4th of July I travelled to Pumba Private Game Reserve, about 20km from Grahamstown, and presented a talk on the ‘Snakes of Albany’ for Rangers working at the reserve. The talk started with a short summary of reptiles, and was followed by basic snake identification and snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, the Rangers took the opportunity to hold some of the non-venomous… Read More

On Saturday the 2nd of June I did a snake awareness talk for the Friends of Waters Meeting Nature Reserve at Ploughman Pub in Bathurst. The talk was well attended and furthermore, was exceptionally well received by the citizens of Bathurst. With an audience ranging in age from pre-schoolers to pensioners, it was challenging but incredibly enjoyable. I spoke about different scorpions, the snakes of Albany, snake myths and lastly, snakebite and… Read More

In March of this year, I played my final game of the season for Manley Flats Cricket Club. The teams consisted of a mix-match of both first team and second team players and was great fun for all involved. Although I spend much of my time buried in the world of herpetology, I do take breaks every now and then to do the other things that give me joy. One of those… Read More

In march of this year I was asked to do a snake demonstration for students of Graeme  the demonstration took place in the hostel, after hours, and the audience consisted of both primary and high-school kids. While some of the guys had seen and handled snakes in the past, many had not, making it a very special occasion for some of the guys. All in all, it was great evening filled with… Read More

On Saturday the 5th of May I hosted the second critter walk. The event was well received, with quite a few people coming on the day. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured the week before on callouts, and was followed by a two hour ‘critter walk’ on a nearby farm. We managed to find several interesting species of… Read More

On the 26th of April, I ventured westwards to Haarlem, on the Eastern border of the Western Cape, for a snake awareness talk. The snake awareness workshop, that was set up by Matthew Sephton of Living Lands, was attended by Honeybush tea farmers working in the Langkloof area. These tea farmers often encounter snakes while working, and I was brought in to teach them how to discern between venomous and non-venomous species… Read More

On the 23rd of April, Dr Shelley Edwards and I delivered a snake talk for primary and high school learners of P.J. Olivier school in Grahamstown. The talk, which was delivered during their morning assembly, to a crowd of approximately 365 learners, was my biggest snake talk to date. the assembly was attended by students from grade 1 all the way to Grade 12 and was challenging and exhilarating at the same… Read More

On Sunday the 18th of march I hosted a private snake ‘walk and talk’ for the nature club of Graham High School. Although it was intended as a two part event, only the talk took place because of the bad weather conditions. Due to the cold weather, and the intermittent thunderstorms, we were unable to go out and explore the wilder parts of Grahamstown, in search of reptiles and frogs. Nevertheless, the… Read More

On Wednesday the 14th of February I delivered two back-to-back snake awareness talks at Victoria Girls High School (VGHS) in Grahamstown. The talks, which touched on snake anatomy, behaviour and ecology, were very well received by both classes. Although many of the girls were frightened by the sight of a live snake, most of them took the opportunity to interact with the live snakes on display. Thanks goes to VGHS, and more… Read More

On Sunday the 25th of February I was a guest on the radio show ‘The Book and the Brain’ on RMR 89.7FM. The show which ran for just over 20 minutes discussed snakes and my research within the field of herpetology. The show focussed particularly on species’ of snakes found within Grahamstown, and the controversy that surrounds them. The show, which I was thrilled to be a part of, was great fun… Read More

On sunday the 19th of November, myself and Luke Kemp hosted a snake awareness ‘walk and talk’ on mountain drive. The aim of the event was to expose the local Grahamstownian’s to the enormous herpetological diversity that the area has to offer. The day started off with a bit of ‘show and tell’ in the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology department parking with Grahamstown’s most venomous snake, the cape cobra (Naja nivea). Following… Read More

On friday the 17th of November, myself and Luke Kemp hosted a ‘Herpetofauna of Grahamstown talk in the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology tea room for members of the department. The talk discussed all the reptiles and frogs that can be found in Grahamstown and gave tips on how to distinguish morphologically-similar species. The talk also discussed basic snakebite treatment and was capped off with a short demonstration with live specimens. All in… Read More

On Monday the 27th of November I was asked by Prof Adrian Craig to do a snake demonstration for students from Hoerskool P.J. Olivier who were visiting the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology Department for the day. The short talk, that was also attended by Dr Shelley Edwards of the Zoology and Entomology molecular lab was a massive hit, with most kids excitedly jumping at the opportunity to handle live snakes. All in… Read More

Two weeks ago, Luke Kemp and I hosted a reptile awareness ‘talk and walk’ just outside of Grahamstown and we are happy to announce that it was very well received by the larger Grahamstown community, with just over 30 people attending the event.  The event was hosted with the intention of exposing the residents of Grahamstown to the amazing reptile diversity that our area has to offer and while we did not… Read More