The Holy Grail

20th June 2018

Image above by Jase Wilts

After five years of looking thoroughly throughout the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, the Emerald Tree Boa was found. To our dismay, the mammal coordinator, Sean, only had to look near the camp toilets to find the snake. Which felt like a loss, but was a victory. As the camp gathered around Sean and the snake, Mark was on platform four. Dylan went and got Mark to show him the snake but decided to play a trick on him and said it was a frog that he couldn’t identify. When Mark came to the main platform he was very surprised to see the Emerald and screamed with excitement.

When Mark finally got his hands on the snake he was like a little boy who had just been given a puppy for Christmas, as he couldn’t believe his luck. At the time we were also very excited, amazed by the colors and patterns of this amazing snake. When we first heard the shouts from Sean that he had found the holy grail we thought it was just another snake, when we realized that it was the emerald we couldn’t believe it.

One of the main reasons the snake was found, was because of the friaje, a cold spell of weather from Argentina. This is cold weather that comes over from Argentina. When the weather is cold, snakes including the boa, come down from the rainforest canopies to get away from the cold and try to stay warm. This is why Sean was able to find it near the ground close to the toilets.

The next day, we went out with our cameras and tripods to try and capture the beauty of this stunning snake. We decided to place it on a medium sized mossy vine that would look good to curl up on. We then spent the next three hours trying out different angles, lighting, positions of the snake to try and get as many good pictures as possible as we knew this would probably be our only chance to take them. When handling the snake we did it using the necking maneuver, which allowed us to move the snake in any position we requires but also in a way that would not harm or stress him out.

Once we had returned from our photoshoot we then had permission from the rest of the camp to white box the snake as part of Mark and Dylan’s ongoing App project. The whole process required us to get a side shot on a vine, head shots, side shot, top shot and a bottom shot. The white box allowed for great pictures as the snakes emerald green color went really well with the total white background. The front picture was so good that Mark made it into his home screen on his computer.

Blog written by Jase Wilts and Cameron Forshaw

Story written by Mark Fernley