May 30, 2022
Tea for Two
- as seen by -Angela Yang
My first experience in fieldwork was hiking through Peruvian rainforests, looking for frogs and snakes. On one of those evenings, after an unfruitful survey, I arrived back in my room in the wee hours of the morning to find a false fer de lance (Xenodon rabdocephalus) neatly coiled around the stool next to my bed like it was part of the decor. I was besotted…and from then on, whatever I was doing, I would keep one eye out for snakes.
Fast forward to Kenya, 2015, I was having my afternoon chai in my office when I heard my name being called. I grabbed my camera—as one does when living in the Masai Mara—and found this lovely Battersby’s green snake (Philothamnus battersbyi) wending its way in a tree behind the carport. It stopped for seconds to stare back at us and then vanished into the bushes.
Snakes are often unjustifiably feared, but in places where there are limited medical resources, I get it. I spent a lot of time convincing people that not all snakes are mambas and to give snakes a chance, because in most cases, they just want to get away from us.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Wild View is featuring posts on their contributions that continue to enrich science and conservation.