Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Talkshow on Rom Whittaker

Romulus Whitaker was only four age elderly when he caught his first snake in the country demesne that he sh atomic number 18d with his m different and sister in northern young York State. It was the beginning of a fascination with reptiles and a journey to conserve nature. Although innate(p) in the United States in 1943, Rom Whitaker grew up in India where he nurtured his passion for reptiles exploring the wild as a student in a boarding school up in the mountains in south India. Dr. Whitaker is sensation of Indias leading herpetologists and savingists. His efforts capture doed to put numerous endangered wildlife on the conservation map.The world-renowned herpetologist and author is changing perceptions of reptiles through his innovative work while championing the causality for conservation of Indias rich biodiversity. (Hes 69) In an exclusive c totally into question Romulus Whitaker sh ars some of his thoughts and rice beering experience through the course of his work. 1. What is it about reptiles that got you mesmerised about them? My love affair with reptiles began before my age of reason, in feature I was catching and keeping snakes at the tender age of 5 years at Hoosick, NY I found my first snake, a Dekays snake and I was hooked.I Kept a terrarium full of local snakes and when I was seven I moved to India, the land of snakes. Over the years my involution broadened to all herps. 2. Were your p arents or friends influential in your decision to go into herpetology as a profession? My mother in particular was very incarnateive of my unusual interest and bought me books by Pope, Ditmars etc. 3. Where is your favorite herping spot in the world? I guess my best place in Agumbe, Karnataka State, near the west swoop of India, where we sustain one of our question stations. 4.What herp in the wild still gives you chills and sends your inflaming levels through the roof? What herp is at the top of your list to find in the wild? I guess the king c obra tops the list just I detect great pleasure in seeing all of the wonderful herps we bear here in the wild. Well, having found a draw of species in a lot of places I guess its just the unmixed idea of finding new species, which Ive neer seen in the wild, which excites me. 5. Aside from the conservation classs youve set-up, do you keep each herps as personal pets?Nope, no herp pets. We live on an 11 acre farm with Russells vipers, cobras, kraits, saw-scaled vipers, rat snakes, trinket snakes, vine snakes and so on, so on that point are rarely dull moments here. 6. Whats the best avenue concourse back a desireth help your conservation trusts and efforts? People can donate out right on of course but perhaps more of them might be enkindle in advent oer to India on a paying volunteer program which allows people to stay on site and do work to help keep the research and general work going, carry their own surplus inputs. 7.Any advice for students looking to get into th e herpetological field? Handling venomous snakes? I intend the best way is to attach yourself to an existing herp program in any capametropolis just to get that experience and to work with people who are obviously doing it right and learning from them. 8. Do you think the increase of interest in the herp-keeping hobby has helped or hindered reptile & amphibian conservation? I cant say much about the herp keeping hobby, I know that it should be done responsibly and people should learn and know where their animals are coming from.If most of the herps on the market are from captive bred stocks fine, but taking them from the wild can be a fatal rip-off and that has beat several species worldwide. 9. What are some of the most engrossing aspects of your job as a Reptile Expert? Every day is a fascinating experience, simply because so little is yet known about reptiles, as compared with more obvious creatures like birds and butterflies. Perhaps most interesting of all is the point tha t once you have studied and been close to reptiles long enough, you realize that they too are complex beings with individual personalities, some nice and some not so nice.Venomous snakes have their tremendous killing power yet they are timid and shy and take nothing more than to stay fall out of horribly dangerous human beings. I dont have dull moments except for when I have to go into the awful city to do some chore like renew my drivers license 10. In the course of your career, you must have had several close and dangerous encounters with crocs, komodo dragons and snakes. Is in that respect any incident that stands out in your mind which left you on the whole speechless? Its kind of hard to say which experiences stand out as being exciting and memorable, in my kind of life excitement is never far absent.Perhaps the incident that sticks in my mind is the first time I encountered a king cobra. It was in Agumbe (where we now have a research station) and I saw the black tail of a large snake disappearing into the bushes. Thinking it was a large, harmless rat snake I did what any snake hunter would do, I leaped on it. I managed to watch the tail and in my now prone position I looked up to see the hood of a large king cobra spread over me and a pair of not so friendly eyes glower down at me. I needed no more boost and quickly released the king cobras tail and rolled out of the way.Luckily the snake didnt want to tangle with me any more than I wanted to tangle with it and it slid away into the forest. Phew 11. What are the challenges you have faced to dispel some of the misconceptions people have about reptiles? The main challenge is to get people to realize that their old folk tales and beliefs about snakes are usually wrong and that the reality of snakes and other reptiles is of course much more interesting than these old tales. People have a tendency to think that wild animals are out to get them when actually its just the opposite. 2. Do you think there is adequate support / assistance for conservation of reptiles today or more can be done? How? Certainly reptiles are still not too juicy in the popularity charts and there is always a need for understanding the misunderstood creatures that we share the planet with. More media exposure to the facts about reptiles, their usefulness to us in controlling rodents and cleaning the waterways (in the case of crocs) and controlling harmful insects in the case of lizards, will certainly help their plight. 13.What do you hope people will take away from your work and films on reptiles? Is there anything you would like to do in the future? Well, I know people are not going to start hugging reptiles overnight, but I do feel we are making headway by writing, making films and bringing people to the Madras Crocodile Bank and teaching them about the wonders of the reptile world. What will I do in future? Probably just what Im doing right now. wizard project is to promote research on snake venoms a nd the perfection of the anti-venom blood serum against snakebite in India. All good fun

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