This beautiful Burmese python is one of hundreds of snakes and other reptiles that live at the Khamai Reptile Park, just outside the Limpopo town of Hoedspruit. The centre does really valuable conservation work in an area with a particularly high concentration of snakes. Allowing visitors to handle one of their non-venomous snakes is part of Khamai’s educational tour, which helps address fears and misconceptions about snakes, chameleons and other reptiles that often lead to them being killed.
These unnecessary deaths place additional pressure on reptile populations already affected by agricultural development, urbanisation, mining, erosion and pollution. The centre also conducts important reptile-related research and helps lodges, farmers and local communities within the region to relocate so-called ‘problem’ reptiles into the wild.
- Dianne Tipping-Woods
p.s. Thanks to Warren Garvie for the edit.