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Herping With Yatin

June, 2023

Meet Yatin Kalki, who is also known as Vegan Cobra, he is a passionate wildlife biologist and enthusiast, he is also a herp specialist in Bangalore. His love for the natural world has led him on exciting adventures across the globe, exploring remote regions in search of indigenous reptiles and amphibians. Recently, Yatin organized a herping session in Bangalore, which turned out to be a resounding success among both the Vegan community and wildlife enthusiasts. Such was its impact that Yatin now plans to conduct more of these engaging sessions in the upcoming weekends.

To gain deeper insights into his herping experience and to enhance our understanding of this fascinating subject, we had the privilege of conducting an interview with Yatin. Get a glimpse into his extraordinary journey and knowledge:

1) What does the term herping mean?

Herping is the act of looking for and observing reptiles and amphibians in their habitat.

2) According to you why was it important to do a session of herping?

I wanted to conduct herp walks to introduce interested people to a new side of reptiles and amphibians. Most people are only exposed to the negative media portrayals of these animals which are sensationalized and misleading. Seeing these animals living their lives on their own terms is really an eye opening experience.

3) What specific techniques or strategies did you employ to locate reptiles during your herping session?

To find herps, we go out into the forest at night with headlamps and torches and try to spot them in the vegetation. Each species has a different set of habits and habitat preferences, so different search methods need to be used for different species.

4) Did you encounter any venomous snakes during your herping expedition? If so, how did you ensure your safety?

We encounter a lot of venomous snakes and arachnids while herping. As long as we give these animals the space and respect they deserve, there is no danger at all.

5) what species of reptiles did you encounter and which one was the most memorable one?

Around Bangalore we encounter 33 species of snakes and many species of lizards and frogs. The most enigmatic species on the outskirts of Bangalore is probably the Bamboo Pitviper. This is a beautiful green venomous snake that lives on shrubs and trees in drier habitats.

6) Were there any particular habitats or environments that proved to be especially fruitful for finding reptiles?

Pretty much all habitat types in this region have their own array of herp species. The more natural patches of forests at the outskirts of the city have some of the more uncommon species. However, you can find herps even in highly urban areas, but they will be the more common human-adapted species.

7) Can you share when the next herping session would take place tentatively?

I will be conducting herp walks and trips pretty regularly going forward. I’ll post dates and locations on my social media accounts. Please reach out to me if you’d like to join on a walk or trip.

Through this interview, we hope to shed light on Yatin Kalki’s incredible experiences and insights, fostering a greater appreciation for the remarkable world of reptiles and amphibians and encouraging others to join the cause of wildlife conservation.