Corporate Events, Talks and Presentations
HANDS ON INTERACTION
- Face your Fears
- Interact with Animals
- Capture a Snake
- Feed a Reptile
- Hold a Giant Scorpion or Spider
Thank you for your interest in Donald's "Away From the Park" talks and presentations. Following is a brief skit along with some information from his CV.
Donald brings with him a number of live animals, including:
- A Burmese Python, one of the Worlds most gentle and most beautiful snakes.
- Spiders and scorpions.
- Venomous snakes. Including a Puff Adder, Cobra and Boomslang.
- Museum bits and pieces such as bones, skins, venom, fangs etc.
The idea of the presentation is to introduce the animals in a non threatening manner that is both safe and enjoyable. Donald’s motivational skills easily uplifts an audiences morale and helps develop ones self confidence. He achieves this by creating a sense of accomplishment through interactive activities and comparative thinking exercises.
Not all is as it seems
Donald does a high energy interactive talk where he includes stories and facts about the animals that are both mind boggling and informative. The success of his unique method is to use live animals where the audience is encouraged to participate in some of the activities. The presentation is done in a manner both humane to the animals and safe for the viewers. Donald will initially assess his audience to determine intellectual interest and fear levels and will adjust the activities accordingly. This is important so as not to loose the delegates attention through lack of interest or high phobia levels.
Sometimes shock tactics are used to encourage lateral thinking, an example is to take out a live tame mouse and ask for permission to feed it to a snake. Donald will explain in raw detail how the snake kills and eats the mouse, giving just enough information before people gross out. Once he has gained a reaction from the audience he then relates to us humans and our gruesome eating habits. (The mouse is of course never fed to the snake)
Another fun exercise is to invite a delegate to come forwards and capture South Africa’s most dangerous snake. This sounds horrific for someone to do, but is of course possible as the snake is a Puff Adder. Donald explains that these snakes are responsible for the most bites in South Africa due to people underestimating its striking speed and trying to pick them up with bare hands. He of course uses the appropriate safety equipment and coaches the volunteer through the exercise.
Donald also speaks about and shows some harmless and even cute animals that are easy to touch and handle. He takes out giant spiders and scorpions, let people feed lizards, handles pythons, lets people hold worms, ticks and enormous cockroaches. Many other interesting items are shown such as skins. bones, fangs, venom, scales, eggs and much more.
The audience is involved in a manner in which they can see, touch, hear and smell different items. This type of experience is pleasantly overwhelming and never forgotten.
The talk is given at a high energy level with many topics within the subject covered. Many of these topics can be related and applied to a business world or day to day environment. A slide show of the same caliber can be incorporated if need be.
Most of the animals used had been caught as problem animals in and about peoples houses and would normally have been killed. It is to be noted that the animals are never harmed in any way and are released back into the wild a short time after each event.
The following can be adjusted according to the individual needs of each party
Short introduction - to allow for the audience to become a little more trusting and familiar with Donald and his methods.
Build up the audience anticipation before taking out any animals - this is done verbally or by means of a slide show.
The main body of the presentation.
Discussion and questions.
TIME /CAPACITY /SPACE
Please contact us should you have any special needs
The presentation can be adjusted according to the time available but should not be shorter than twenty minutes. The ideal is forty five minutes to an hour. Such talks have been given to as many as six hundred people at a time but forty or so seems to be the optimum.
Presentations can be done at any time of day or night, indoors or outside but not in direct sunlight.
It is requested that there be no less than three meters space between Donald and the first row of the audience.
Pricing is done as per pax and group type - Please contact Juanita or Donald for a quotation
WHO IS DONALD STRYDOM
Donald was born in South Africa and has always had an active interest in flora and fauna taking a special interest in reptiles, amphibians and arachnids of the world. From the age of ten he started collecting and keeping reptiles and has studied them ever since.
During the school holidays and weekends he worked part time at the Transvaal Snake Park in Mid Rand Johannesburg. In January 1981 he was involved in a major promotional stint at the park, where he managed to raise substantial funds for the “Springbok Radio Christmas Fund” for the underprivileged wrestling crocodiles.
At the age of sixteen he was the lead person in a documentary about snakes for Japanese TV.
Donald matriculated in 1981 and spent seventeen months of his two year military service in the bush of Angola and Namibia.
Donald has been involved with a few over the border animal expeditions namely:
Zimbabwe - looking for a small locality of rare Gaboon Viper.
Numerous expeditions spent in Namibian deserts helping to locate rare and endangered species.
Mauritius - to capture a specialised species of tree Gecko to aid a breeding project.
Twice into the deep remote jungles of Central Africa looking for new and undiscovered reptiles. (He found one)
Zambia - with members of the "Crocodilian Study Group" and the University of Pretoria - doing a crocodile census.
Mexico and Arizona on invitation from Arizona fish and game - listing and photographing reptiles and assisting with Vampire Bat research.
Madagascar - on a photographic expedition to assess reptile habitat and related problems.
In 1984 Donald founded the Swadini Reptile Park, which has recently been renamed Khamai Reptile Centre and developed it into a well known land mark internationally. There are at the park both exotic and local indigenous animals which includes snakes, crocodiles, spiders, scorpions, frogs. lizards, leguaan, turtles, monkeys and some birds under Donald’s care.
The policy of the park is to conserve through education and research.
Donald host such organizations as:
The Wildlife Society of South Africa
Department of Environmental Affairs.
Department of Forestry.
South African Defence Force.
Hospitals (Nursing and Doctor graduates)
Large Mining Organisations.
School Educational Departments.
Senior Ranger Bush Education.
Environmental Awareness Organisations, Clubs and Associations.
Donald has been involved with other activities such as:
THE MAKING OF AND APPEARING IN NUMEROUS TELEVISION DOCUMENTARIES INCLUDING:-
BBC, Yorkshire, Partridge Films and Tigress Productions in the United Kingdom.
National Geographic, World Gone Wild, Wild Things and the Discovery Channel.
To date he has been involved in the making of approximately twenty five documentaries and has proudly personally worked twice with Sir David Attenborough.
HE HAS SPOKEN MANY TIMES ON NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL TV AND RADIO PROGRAMS
Donald was a guest speaker once a week for a year on the popular Radio Safari.
Exclusive Lodges often call upon him for talks to guests.
Sir Richard Branson of Virgin fame has had Donald do a talk for he and his wife personally.
The Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) have called upon Donald for his services as guest speaker for the past eight years.
He was actively involved with six books of which one written by Sir David Attenborough.
Initiated, designed, and developed a multi million rand reptile park that is currently running successfully.
He featured on a half hour special on how to look after your pet snake.
Acted as a host for the “Miss Water Fest” beauty pageant 1999.
Often he is called upon to help with peoples reptile and spider related phobias.
Research at the Khamai Reptile Centre involves venom research, milking, field studies and husbandry of reptiles from throughout the World.
Through the Khamai Reptile Centre Donald has established a reptile project named HerP (Help Endangered Reptile Project) HerP’s mission statements are:
To conserve through education and research.
To locate, propagate and relocate rare and endangered animals.
To establish viable captive populations of rare and endangered animals.
Donald has always had an active interest in reptiles and has thus far gained extensive knowledge to their habits and habitat through the years. He has been giving presentations on this subject for most of his life and continues to thoroughly enjoy doing so. The Khamai Reptile Centre is a reflection of his dedication and passion towards people and animals.