Crocworld Conservation Centre on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has announced an exciting new addition to this year’s winter holiday programme! On Tuesday, 2 July there will be an unmissable demonstration followed by a meet-and-greet session with Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, the international stars of Snake City, as seen on Nat Geo WILD.
Simon and Siouxsie – joined by Martin Rodrigues, Manager of Crocworld Conservation Centre – will perform a demonstration featuring a number of species, including a green mamba and puff adder, at 10am. This will be followed by a meet-and-greet session with the stars between 11am and 1pm.
“This beautiful coastal location is home to a number of interesting and unique snake species, all of which form a vital part of the local ecosystem,” explained Martin Rodrigues, Manager of Crocworld Conservation Centre. “We are very excited to host Snake City’s Simon and Siouxsie as they partake in their meet-and-greet tour. They are a really dynamic couple with such a passion for snakes and they’ll be sharing their knowledge on the various local species, as well as some of their incredibly interesting snake rescue stories with visitors on the day. This is one not to miss!”
The a British-born couple split their time between the United Kingdom and their South African home in eMdloti throughout the year. Siouxsie, with a degree in Herpetology, originally met Simon at a reptile store in the United Kingdom and the two eventually found a home on the KZN North Coast. From their KwaZulu-Natal base, the pair venture across Durban and surrounds, responding to calls about snakes in residential areas that often result in death-defying rescues. Many of these incredible snake rescues have made it to the Nat Geo WILD television show, Snake City, now in its sixth season.
The couple has responded to hundreds of snake rescue expeditions over the years, and while a few have turned out to be hair bands, gecko tails and rubber snakes mistaken for snakes, the two have encountered their fair share of interesting snake characters. One memorable rescue involved a rock python housed in a ‘tunnel of doom’ in Mandini. During this expedition, Simon had to brave an underground cave – littered with snake skin evidence of the very large resident python – and attempt to locate and capture the reptile. After half an hour, Simon finally emerged with the python in tow, and they were able to relocate the animal.
“The Crocworld meet-and-greet will be a great day out for all ages!” said Siouxsie Gillett. “Simon and I will chat about some interesting personal snake encounters, as well as filming stories. This is the only South Coast venue that will form part of our Snake City tour and we are really excited to have this opportunity to meet our fans and have them meet some of our slithery friends!”
Visitors to Crocworld Conservation Centre’s first-ever Snake City experience will have the chance to engage with Simon and Siouxsie, get personalised autographs and photographs, and even purchase Snake City merchandise – currently only available on this meet-and-greet tour.
The cost of the tickets is R100 for adults, R80 for pensioners and R70 for children (aged 4 to 12 years). In addition to the snake demonstration with Simon and Souxsie, there will be the daily crocodile feeding and talk at 11am and 3pm that day. For more information or to make a booking, contact Martin Rodrigues on 078 484 1859 or Crocworld Conservation Centre on 039 976 1103.