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John Murray is travelling to India to work as a conservation volunteer at a leading crocodile centre in Chennai. The centre houses more than 2,500 crocodiles and many species of endangered snake.
John Murray's Blogs
Posted By John Murray on 24 Nov 2011
Well, today is the last day of my time at Croc Bank. Looking back over the past 9 weeks it is impossible to pick out a favourite moment. So I've picked out a few to reminisce over.The only venomous snake kept in Croc Bank is the Albino Cobra. Due to his weak immune system he is kept off-exhibit in a (sterile as possible) box. He also has a variety of lights above the box which are turned on and off, as normal sunlight would burn him.
Posted By John Murray on 15 Nov 2011
The rainy spell we have been having at Croc Bank has stopped... for now. The weather is back to the usual sweltering midday sun with the evenings and mornings being bearable. Most of my time at the moment seems to have been spent baking sand. Now that all the wood is dry once again all the old sand from the nursery bath tubs and terrariums has to be removed and heated over a fire to sterilize it.One such terrarium is used to house a young Indian Rock Python in the Young Reptiles Exhibit everyday.
Posted By John Murray on 31 Oct 2011
The major highlight of this week was on Friday, when Croc Bank caught and crated some crocodilians to be sent to a zoo in the Czech Republic. The crocodilians in question were juvenile gharials, juvenile morelet's, muggers and two full grown gharials. I got up early at six o'clock but even then the young gharials and the muggers had already been caught. I was able to help pin down the morelet's whilst they were tagged however.
Posted By John Murray on 27 Oct 2011
Well, the rainy season has arrived in Tamil Nadu. I had always thought that the whole of India had the monsoon earlier in the year but I should have delved into the matter a little deeper. I was told by a resident that it tends to be rainy from now until the middle of December. The upside of this is that the temperature has dropped from a sweltering 32C during the day to a balmy 26C. However it does mean that I have to sprint from building to building to try and get wet as little as possible.
Posted By John Murray on 14 Oct 2011
I am now well settled into my daily routine here. Before breakfast I help to clean out the baby reptiles. After breakfast there are usually some general tasks to be carried out. Examples include, baking sand for the terrariums, cleaning out some of the larger enclosures and cleaning algae off the turtles. I then take a quick lunch before patrolling the park for an hour whilst the regular staff have lunch. Recently I have started to help with the educational snake talks on the young rock pythons.
Posted By John Murray on 03 Oct 2011
There's a huge variety of things which I've been helping with over the past week. Every morning before breakfast I help to clean out the baby tortoises, turtles and crocodiles. What happens after breakfast has so far been different almost everyday, but it's only been a week so things haven't had time to repeat themselves.On Monday I scrubbed out ponds. Then in the afternoon I helped sort fish for the juvenile gharials, and then helped feed them.