About Gowri Shankar:
“Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities” this saying by Sue Atchley Ebaugh summarizes my life so far. It was during my early teenage years that I dreamt of living in a forest and working on snakes, and these dreams paved the way to doors of opportunities which I embraced. Its been over two decades now and I am happy to say that I am living my passion everyday!
I started handling reptiles at the age of thirteen and never looked back since. My stint as an animal inspector (at KARUNA, formerly BSPCA, Bangalore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) , education officer (at the Center for Herpetology, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Mamalapuram Chennai),a Conservation Officer at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), molded me well for my current profile as a conservationist.
I am based at Agumbe and focus primarily on studying and conserving king cobras. I have been staying at Agumbe for over five years and during this time had life time opportunities of observing and documenting the nesting, male combat, courtship, mating and cannibalistic behaviors of king cobras in the wild. I was also instrumental in the pioneer efforts of ARRS in conducting radio telemetry study on king cobras.
I have worked for several wildlife documentaries behind screen, and featured along side Rom in two wildlife documentaries, ‘The King and I’, ‘Secrets of the King Cobra ‘, ‘Asia’s Deadliest Snake’ , ‘One Million Snake Bites’ and ‘Wildest India’ by BBC, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Discovery channel respectively.
Apart from rescuing over hundred king cobras from distress situations I have collected vital scientific data which has led to new insights into the life of a king cobra. My interests lie in studying the ecology, breeding biology, and conservation biology of king cobras. I also find it very important and satisfying in reaching out to masses through education programs.
Sharmila and I shared a common vision for over a decade. We got married in November 2008 and now work as a team towards realizing this. Formerly, she was techie with Microsoft GTSC working on database management systems. An M.Tech post graduate in computer science her interests are varied from Microsoft SQL server, to blogging, writing, reptiles, bird watching, ants and butterflies.
Note: The purpose of this blog is to reach out to people to share my thoughts and experiences. But as most of you know I am a good story teller but not all that great at writing. This is where Sharmila comes in to help me out. We sit together, I narrate my experiences and she puts them into words in her own style. An amalgamation of thoughts and skills! Hope you all enjoy reading our posts!