WCE participant, Youp Jaski, faces his fear


Youp Jaski took part in our Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE) programme a couple of weeks ago and came face to face with one of his lifetime fears. He tells us about his encounter:

“Since I was a young boy, I have been absolutely terrified of snakes. I saw them as dangerous and aggressive creatures with no purpose to be on this planet. But this has changed!

During my stay at HESC for the Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE) programme we visited the reptile centre in Hoedspruit. Before we left I was quite nervous, because I was told there were loads of snakes at the reptile centre, and that they are even taken out of their enclosures to give the visitors a closer look.

After the introduction by one of the centre’s guides we took a look at all the different birds and reptiles housed at the centre. By this point I was still sceptical… I saw all these snakes around me and I was very glad there was still a piece of glass between me and them. We were then taken to a field of grass where we sat down. The guide brought four boxes with him, three of which contained venomous snakes.

One by one he took them out and gave us the history of each snake. His demonstration and the information he shared about the snakes made me start feeling at ease around the serpents as they freely crawled on the grass, just a few feet from us. The guide showed us that snakes are not aggressive at all and do not attack unless provoked.

Seeing the snakes from so close made me appreciate what magnificent and intelligent creatures they actually are. It was a life-changing experience!”

Go on, book your place! Who knows? You might also experience something extraordinary that changes your view of the world.

Contact our student coordinators at students@cheetahcentre.co.za.

Yours in conservation,

The HESC Team