CU Wild hosts show to promote conservation
Imagine standing next to Animal Planet personality Jeff Corwin as he holds a six foot crocodile monitor as its long, skinny tail whips around Corwin’s body and its serpent like tongue lashes out at your face. Over 1,000 people attending Jeff Corwin’s wildlife presentation last night in the Glenn Miller Ballroom witnessed this and many other fascinating things.
The production was hosted and organized by CU Wild, a student club whose goal is to promote wildlife conservation through various activities and events.
“We chose Jeff Corwin because he always sends a good message about conservation, and we hope to get a point across to a large audience,” said Niki Lecander, director of the Wildlife Project.
A handful of anxious volunteers were called on stage to aid Corwin’s demonstration of various exotic reptiles and amphibians, which included a foot long toad, a 90 pound Alligator Snapping Turtle, a 6 foot North American alligator, a Kingsnake, a Gabon viper, and a 75 pound Albino Python.
Corwin dazzled the audience with numorous facts about the animals. Most of the reptiles shown in the presentation were native to the North American continent.
“I liked the viper the most because its fangs are the longest of any venomous snake in the world. Jeff said their fangs grow to be 2 inches long. I would have never guessed that within such a seemingly small head,” said Kelly Herbert, a junior psychology major.
The audience gasped when Corwin brought out a 12 foot, 75 pound Albino Python. It took two people to support its weight as it slithered on the neck of a girl belittled by its massive presence. The scene mocked that of a Britney Spears music video as its slimy yellow skin glistened with its slow, constricting movement.
Corwin continued to recount a story when he witnessed a similar python in Africa swallow an antelope whole, including the antlers.
Beyond Corwin’s interesting animal facts and humorous commentary, he came to CU to give a more poignant message. He wanted to discuss the importance of wildlife conservation. All of the animals demonstrated in his speech were rescued from various plights. The crocodile monitor was found wandering a park in New Jersey, the viper was someone’s illegal pet, and the Albino Python was found abandoned.
“It’s very important for people to begin a life of conservation. One thing that everybody can do is try to conserve at least 5 percent of their life, whether you use less power or minimize your waste. Conservation starts locally,” Corwin said.
Corwin has been to over 70 countries and has worked with Animal Planet for nine years. He has a masters degree in biology conservation and is currently working on his Ph.D. Corwin has received an Emmy award and has completed various programs with Animal Planet, the Disney channel, and the Discovery channel.
Judging by the outcome and enthusiasm of the audience, the message of conservation was well absorbed as peoples’ eyes popped from viewing the amazing animals accompanying Corwin.
To volunteer for CU Wild, visit them at their office in room 330 of the UMC.