Mike Starkey and Save the Snakes

“Save The Snakes” Slithers Into Our Hearts


An Evening of Serpentine Fun

Earlier this month, friend of Safari West Michael Starkey joined us as part of our ongoing Conservation Dinner Series. Taking place throughout the year, this series allows us to play host to scientists and conservationists from around the globe. Mr. Starkey has been a frequent guest over the years and has spoken on a number of conservation issues. This time, he appeared in his role as Executive Director of Save the Snakes.

After a day of exploring the Sonoma Serengeti our guests enjoyed dinner at the Savannah Cafe. Once the plates were cleared away, everyone headed into the Elephant Room for a special evening of education and entertainment. Mr. Starkey’s presentation, titled “Golden State Snakes: An Introduction to Some of California’s Most Spectacular Serpents” kept the crowd at rapt attention. Snakes don’t always enjoy positive attention from their human neighbors. Like spiders, bats, and other creepy-crawlies, they suffer a great deal of unfair persecution. Mr. Starkey did an excellent job of pushing back against this prejudice and exploring just how amazing these reptiles are.

As he discussed the ecological value of snakes, Mr. Starkey also showed the crowd how to identify some of our local species and how to tell the venomous variety from the non-venomous. All in all, it was an amazing and enlightening evening and we’ve got more just like it in the lineup. If you’d like to take part in the Conservation Dinner Series, keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming events.

PS- Special thanks to Michael Starkey and Save the Snakes, who not only provided a dynamite evening for our guests, but who also published this beautiful write-up of the evening. Thank you!

Jared Paddock

Jared Paddock

Safari West staff and conservation writer.