Reptile Encounters in Burwood, Victoria, hopes to create a generation of better humans through its up-close animal experiences.
The organisation believes that in today’s world of social media profiles, online games, and virtual realities, children are missing out on taking an interest in the natural world.
Josh Cox, Director of Reptile Encounters, said giving children an up-close experience gets them engaged, which means they become more eager to learn.
“Most of the time, they don’t even realise they are learning because they are having so much fun.
“I have witnessed changes in behaviour happen right in front of me. Animals have a calming effect; they are a natural leveller. Students also garner more respect for our wildlife from seeing them in the flesh. These things cannot be achieved with a whiteboard or PowerPoint presentation.”
Cox believes people need to have that ‘inspire’ moment to be able to make a connection with nature for themselves, and that at Reptile Encounters they give students that chance.
Interactive and educational encounters that primary and secondary aged children can take part in at Reptile Encounters include Meet the Rainbow Serpent, Australian Reptiles, Insects and Minibeasts, Feathers, Fur and Scales, Starts of the Sea, Life Cycles, Aqua Life, and more.
The mission of Reptile Encounters is to be the voice for those that don’t have one, and that it’s up-close wildlife experiences create lasting memories and inspire students to take an interest in the natural world.