Snake stigma breaks with RRANA’s Christmas display

A yearly tradition for members of Rescue and Rehabilitation of Australian Native Animals (RRANA) with their Christmas lights display is sharing their love of reptiles, while also collecting donations to continue the not-for-profit volunteer-based service of caring for and looking after wildlife in Broken Hill and the wider region.

Each night up to Christmas RRANA will be out front of 566 Wolfram St from 7pm until late, inviting the community to come past as they make their way around town looking at the Christmas lights to learn about the efforts of the group in caring for animals, such as their collection of pythons – which you’ll be able to see, touch, and hold!

“Because there’s not many of us in RRANA at the moment, fundraising has become a bit difficult. We’re just putting it out there to the community to come along, get educated with the reptiles and make a donation to RRANA for what we do,” RRANA member Stephanie Grieve told us.

“While RRANA doesn’t specifically do snakes, we just thought that there’s a lot of bad stigma behind them, and we wanted to show the public they’re really not that bad. It just started off as something fun to do, to show them off and it’s really kicked off a yearly thing now.”

Broken Hill Snake Catcher’s Ryan Chynoweth – who’s also a member of RRANA – will be there and is hoping to educate anyone who comes by, helping break the stigma around snakes, with Mr Chynoweth saying the talk that they’re all dangerous and want to kill is “just not how it is at all”.

“The education side of things is massive. I feel over the years between the Snake Catchers and Steph and [RRANA] with the snakes, we’ve educated a lot of people and changed a lot of people’s minds, which is good. There’s still a lot of work to do and you’re not going to change everyone’s mind but putting the awareness out there and a bit of education. It goes a long way”, Mr Chynoweth said.

To meet coastal carpet python Brian and Bredli python Ruby, as well as the smaller-sized python Manny, head to 566 Wolfram St from 7pm tonight and right up to Christmas Eve and speak to the team from RRANA all about the reptiles, while supporting a great cause to the community.

“We’ve already had such a really strong response for this year alone. Come and say g’day. It’s just fun and education. Come and ask your questions and come and say hello to our animals. And please, donate to RAANA. What money is donated, it’s all kept local, which is even better.”

PICTURE: From left to right: Ryan Chynoweth, Aaron Grieve, Stephanie Grieve. JASON IRVINE

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