Having acted as wildlife adviser for, and featured in many television across
several cultures (including American, British, Italian and Russian), I’m well
aware of this. But I’m talking about the behaviour of a snake-handler off
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
043 8650 835
PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International Ecotourism Award, 2004.
With every introduction of a plant or animal that goes feral this continent
becomes a little less unique, a little less Australian.
On 31 Jan 2016, at 5:29 pm, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> Almost every TV animal documentary that shows snakes, likes to show them
> being caught and handled by people. This is rather different to the way most
> animals are shown. This is across several nations and presumably cultures.
> This is not about love or respect or food. Mainly that film makers like to
> do this.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of
> Denise Goodfellow
> Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2016 3:48 PM
> To: birding-aus
> Cc: Jennifer Neil
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Feeding Birds
> A few years ago Kunwinjku relatives and I participated in the making of a
> documentary on my sister’s country in western Arnhem Land.
> To the surprise of my relatives, the presenter, a Perth snake-catcher called
> Bruce, tried to catch every reptile he came across, and they asked me to
> question him about his motives. Bruce told me that he liked to catch snakes
> in particular because he ‘loved’ them. Djedje Reverend P. Nganjmirra, whose
> mother was a senior custodian for that country, had Python Dreaming, meaning
> he saw those snakes as relatives, and I had once seen him cry when a water
> python was mishandled during the making of a previous documentary. So I
> told Bruce that catching snakes as he was simply scared them and was no way
> to show love. Instead he should do as Kunwinjku did unless they were
> hunting for food, that was to leave snakes alone and to show love and
> respect by simply caring for their country.
> And that went for most wildlife. Elders did not want any visitors on my
> sister’s country who might disturb wildlife in their desire to see or
> photograph a certain species.
> By the same token Kunwinjku relatives living in Gunbalanya had no issues
> with people feeding birds or other wildlife around their homes; they did so
> themselves at times. What’s more Kunwinjku elders understood why people
> identified with the wildlife in their gardens - after all that’s what they
> did with dreaming animals. And they empathised.
> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> PO Box 71
> Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
> 043 8650 835
> PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
> Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
> Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International Ecotourism Award,
> With every introduction of a plant or animal that goes feral this continent
> becomes a little less unique, a little less Australian.
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