By Ines Badman
Now, I know where your mind jumps to when you read the title, but it’s not quite what you are thinking. I am talking about my love with our slithery friends, specifically Arid Recovery’s Woma Python Tirari, who sparked my love for these inquisitive animals.
Woma Pythons are a nocturnal snake found in the arid regions of central Australia and in the South-West of Western Australia, it was also species that was once native to Roxby Downs. Arid Recovery tried to reintroduce Woma’s back to the reserve during 2007 however unfortunately they were eaten by Mulga Snakes. TIrari was a special girl given to Arid Recovery about two years ago to help educate and break stingma’s around snakes….and she did just that!
16 months ago before I started working for Arid Recovery I wouldn’t even touch or go near a snake. Now deemed the crazy snake lady by family, friends, and let’s be honest most of the community, you’d think I was lying. I grew up on properties where we were taught they were bad, dangerous and needed to be killed (which is illegal). That mindset got thrown out the window quicker than I could blink when I turned up on my first day and the intern was sitting at her computer with Tirari around her neck.
I had never really stopped to properly look at snakes before and it didn’t take very long for me to become intrigued by this gorgeous creature. You can certainly say it was love at first sight, she had captivated my heart and there was no going back. Kat, who was our intern at the time, took me under her wing teaching me everything she knew about snakes. It wasn’t long after that we were educating the community together breaking the stigma around snakes with our trusty snake ambassador Tirari by our side.
With the newfound love of snakes that had been uncovered, the obsession started. It’s not often you can say you can work with the love of your life but lucky for me that was the case. Maybe not so much for my friends that started to get spammed with photos of Tirari, but soon they started to love her too (well not all of them, some are a work in progress still). It was also super convenient my best friend owns the local reptile supply shop, which by the way is the best place I have ever had pre-drinks!
Within 6 months of working for Arid Recovery, I went from strongly disliking snakes to educating people about them, as well as becoming a venomous snake catcher. Talk about a career change! None of this would be possible without the support of Kat, Bec from Mackey Reptile Supplies (aka coolest best friend/reptile supply shop ever), Arid Recovery, and the love of my life, Tirari.
Over these whirlwind 16 months, Tirari has both met and educated hundred’s of people. From stations, schools, market days, board visits, and even over Zoom. Tirari has been the star of the show, changing people’s perspectives on snakes by pulling people in with her cuteness and gentle nature. Tirari’s job as an animal ambassador is to show people that when snakes are appreciated and respected, the snakes are going to do the same back. She also helps to communicate the importance of snakes in our environment. She is one of the hardest working snakes I know, also most spoilt, but how could you not spoil that face?!
For all of Tirari’s hard work I would like to give back to her in ways other than annoying her with cuddles (she loves it I swear). She came to Arid Recovery from another owner with the expectation she wasn’t going to grow anymore however, she did….a lot. Which means her home is a bit too cozy for her now.
Mick from MH Reptiles has kindly quoted a discounted new terrarium home for her and Bec from Mackey Reptiles has generously offered to transport the tank and deck it out with some new gear. We are seeking donations to cover the cost of the tank and new lighting for Tirari.
Any donations would be greatly appreciated to help our girl have a better living experience. You can donate here and all donations over $2 are tax deductable.