Save the Snakes / University of Witwatersrand
(Hoedspruit, South Africa)
Hiral Naik is a herpetologist and conservationist with a passion for reptiles and amphibians. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Alexander Herp Lab at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Her research focuses on better understanding the behavioural ecology of venomous snakes and their role in snakebite. Hiral is also the Africa Program Manager at Save The Snakes, an organisation dedicated to mitigating human-snake conflict globally. Hiral is currently running a snake education and outreach project in South Africa in collaboration with the Hoedspruit Reptile Centre. Their Snake Education and Community Awareness Program (SECAP) involves working with learners at schools, community members and healthcare workers to educate them about snakes and snake safety. The goal of this work is to mitigate human-snake conflict in the area and thus the number of snakebite incidences. As a passionate researcher, Hiral hopes to communicate the incredible science of snakes to others and encourage them to learn more about these amazing animals. This will be the key to mitigating snakebites.
Why I Chose a Career in Snakebite:
The key to preventing snakebite is learning more about the biology of snakes and the relationship of these snakes with people. My goal is to work at the interface between science and conservation to educate people about successfully co-existing with snakes and promote an appreciation of these animals. I choose to work each day to tackle snakebite because I believe that by building successful relationships with people from different sectors, promoting collaboration between experts and transferring our shared knowledge to society, we can be successful.
Other Ways to Connect:
Organisation’s website address: https://savethesnakes.org/
Twitter: @HiralNaik25 https://twitter.com/HiralNaik25
Instagram: @hirals_hive https://www.instagram.com/hirals_hive/