Earlier this month, Wildlife SOS team member Bindia was invited to the National Museum of Natural History, Delhi, to talk about snakes in the city. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests as part of a summer camp for students from various schools ranging from the sixth to the ninth standard.
With over sixty enthusiastic children in attendance, Bindia started off with a short presentation on Wildlife SOS and the work we do, following which she talked about urban wildlife, focusing primarily on snakes. Since snakes are generally misunderstood reptiles, associated with fear and danger, Wildlife SOS works to alleviate these misconceptions and sensitize people towards our serpentine neighbours.
Bindia enumerated the snake species found in and around Delhi, and talked to the eagerly listening audience about avoidance behavior and how to deal with instances when one comes across urban wildlife, especially snakes.
Amidst squeals of excitement, our rescue coordinator, Harshad, did a live demonstration with some nonvenomous snakes, including sand boas, a rat snake and a royal snake, to accompany the talk. The children were awestruck and a little apprehensive at first, but they got over their initial fear once they saw how confidently our staff handled the animals and realized that snakes are not dangerous if they feel safe and unthreatened.
The talk commenced with an interactive session with the audience, and our excited and curious attendees put forward some great, insightful questions about reptiles and other urban wildlife, that were answered by our team. Evidently encouraged by the workshop, the children even volunteered to share their own personal experiences with snakes and how everything they had learnt that day had changed their perception of these reptiles.
As the children filed out, they were given brochures that told them more about Wildlife SOS and were invited to come visit our rescue centres with their parents to experience first-hand the conservation work we are engaged in around the country.