Belmont Primary students get hands on with a snake for environment workshops

Belmont Primary School Pre-primary students Maria Doerzbacher (5) and Omid Khan (5) with Native Animal Rescue reptile co-ordinator Hayley Simich and Leo, a four-year-old carpet python. Picture: David Baylis
Belmont Primary School Pre-primary students Maria Doerzbacher (5) and Omid Khan (5) with Native Animal Rescue reptile co-ordinator Hayley Simich and Leo, a four-year-old carpet python. Picture: David Baylis

BELMONT Primary School students set aside their fears to be the first school to greet native animals in the Perth Airport Local Schools Program yesterday.

Kindergarten to Year 6 students had the chance to get up close with a carpet python and a ring-tailed possum in the first series of environment workshops.

Native Animal Rescue chief executive Kelli Ellemor said the students encountered other endangered animals during the three-week program.

“They’ve seen the barn owl, the tawny frogmouth and the red-tail black cockatoo,” she said.

“They’re also shown the simple steps on what to do when they go bushwalking to stay nice and safe.”

Perth Airport chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett said there were 20 schools in the Schools Program, which included arts, science and literacy workshops.

“Specifically for the environment program there are three schools taking part in workshops with the three different environment groups,” she said.

“The reptile education class was included as part of a three-part workshop to raise awareness of how to respond to native animals, including snakes if you come across them in the wild.”

Acting principal Kristy Harrison said it was a good learning experience for the children to deal with animals they may be afraid of.

“They’ve been taught life skills, like what to do if they’ve found a bird that’s been injured,” she said.

If you encounter injured wildlife, call the Parks and Wildlife Service Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.