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Romulus Whitaker, “Snakeman of India



  May 23, 2024

Romulus Whitaker, “Snakeman of India



Romulus Whitaker, often referred to as the “Snakeman of India,” is a renowned herpetologist who has dedicated his life to the study and conservation of reptiles and India’s rainforests. His work is part of the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative, which supports individuals and organizations in environmental science to understand and find solutions to environmental challenges.

Whitaker’s passion for reptiles, especially the king cobra, led him to establish three rainforest research stations across India after winning a Rolex Award in 2008. These stations are crucial for the conservation of the Western Ghats’ biodiversity, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

His conservation efforts extend beyond research; he has also been instrumental in launching a lifesaving anti-venom program and spearheads a national campaign to educate Indians on how to protect themselves from snakebites, aiming to reduce the mortality rate from snakebites.

Whitaker’s journey from a young boy fascinated by snakes in New York to becoming a guardian of India’s wildlife is chronicled in his memoir, “Snakes, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: My Early Years,” and his story continues to inspire many in the field of wildlife conservation.



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