July 16, 2016 8:23 pm
Updated: July 16, 2016 8:24 pm

Hands-on World Snake Day experience in Osoyoos

One of the snakes at the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre that the public got to meet on World Snake Day.

Neetu Garcha/Global News

The public was invited to get up close and personal with snakes and snake skins during World Snake Day celebrations at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos on Saturday.

Biologist Jared Maida said the animal is often misunderstood and while there are six different kinds of snakes in the Okanagan, he said the rattlesnake is the most often misjudged one.

“It’s probably the most maligned and misunderstood species probably on the planet I would say,” Maida said.

It’s one of several snake species in the Okanagan that are considered threatened, according to Maida.

“With continued pressures of urbanization and continues persecution, the numbers are not increasing to what we’d like to them be,” he said.

That’s why the focus of the World Snake Day celebrations at the cultural centre is on awareness.

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It’s also the centre’s 10-year anniversary. To mark the milestone and the world’s day devoted to snakes, the public was offered up a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes in the lab where biologists have been conducting a snake research program for 13 years.

“The program has been instrumental and crucial for management plans and conservation strategies,” Maida said.

“We are definitely the longest running intensive study on snakes in British Columbia and if not, Western Canada.”

Watch the full story, including reaction from kids on their hands-on World Snake Day experience, on Saturday’s Global Okanagan News at 5:30, 6:30 and 11 p.m.


© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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