Monday, December 14, 2015

Awesome day out with visitors at Chek Jawa

We had a fabulous day out at Chek Jawa Boardwalk with 70 visitors on Saturday. It's the December school holidays, and families took the opportunity to come and see what the hype of Chek Jawa is about. As always, we saw lots of interesting living things. The walk is fun, and the kids are keen to learn. The 'outdoor classroom' is simply one of the best ways to teach the kids about our own natural heritage, and for the adults to re-connect with nature.

The walk started in quite an exciting way when a boy, Aiden, spotting a small snake on the ground near the English Cottage. The guides were thrilled to see that it is a Keel-bellied Whip Snake. It's a lifer for most of the guides.

Keel-bellied whip snake
It's rare to see this snake because it is an arboreal snake, meaning it is usually found high up on trees, and there are few chances to see this snake on the ground. The guides decided to put it back into the forest. Just before we released it back on a tree, Ivan and Jonathan took the opportunity to show the children this beautiful snake and to explain about the ecology of how it survives in the forest.

A close-up look at the Keel-bellied whip snake

We also reminded the visitors that we must not handle snakes if we are not trained to do so. There are venomous snakes in Singapore, some more venomous than others, and so for the safety of ourselves as well as for the snakes, we should not handle snakes on our own. We hope that we have left a beautiful message of conservation, love and respect for all snakes. If you're interested to learn more about snakes (and other reptiles and amphibians), do check out the blog from the Herpetology Society of Singapore.

Shortly after this, Jonathan gently released the whip snake back onto a tree. What a great experience for everyone!

After the excitement, we split the visitors into 4 groups, and everyone set off for the boardwalk, with a spring in our steps. To explore Chek Jawa!