Saish Solankar just 17 years old is an aspiring Herpetologist (A person who studies reptiles and amphibians) and is the youngest in the world to be part of an elite Research team to study the Green Anaconda, which is the largest snake in the world and Short Eared Dog in the western Amazon rain forest in Peru, South America.
The team will be based at the Tambopata Biological Research Centre at the banks of the Tambopata river in the Madre De Dios region in Peru. The expedition is being led by National Geographic fame Paul Rosolie and includes the likes of Renata Pitman, Mohsin Kazmi, Trevor Frost, Amanda Sargent and other veterans in the field of wildlife and conservation.
The expedition is 15 days long and aims to dive deeper into the very less known lives of these elusive creatures, battling the very challenging terrain and conditions of the world’s largest and densest forest.
Having completed his Jr. Scientific Training on Reptile Management, mentored by renowned Herpetologist, Gowri Shankar-The King Cobra Man- and having worked on a wildlife documentary film with Madhushri Mudke, research scholar studying Amphibians in Manipal, and a SSAR grantee, on the local frogs, he was a suitable pick for the expedition. He aspires to pursue deeper in the field of herpetology and conservation and research with funding and research grants from societies like SSAR (Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles) and National Geographic.
He is currently studying in Nowrosjee Wadia College Pune after completing his schooling from Love Dale Central School in Belagavi, spending all of his childhood here. He is an avid reader, writer, cyclist and a film maker having won accolades in film making at various fora. He’s part of the Multifit Cycling Team.
Saish’s was interested in reptiles and amphibians since he was a kid and was mostly watching National Geographic, when his friends were busy watching Shinchan and doremon. He was interested in Herpetology since he was grade 6 and since then he has been thoroughly reading about them and then even researching about them in the jungles.
Speaking to AAB, Saish said,
I plan to be a film maker in the future and would also pursue to learn at Harvard. My parents have been my support since they saw my interest in reptiles and even film making. On every step I have taken my parents have stood behind me and encouraged me.
I chose to pursue arts because I’ve always wanted to know about how human life works, and thus, want to take up anthropology further in my higher studies. The stream also adds a very pragmatic, yet considerate approach in everything I think about.
Speaking to AAB, Mohankumar his father who has been really overjoyed with the child’s curious mind, said we as parents always encouraged him what he wanted to do. I am very much acrophobic about reptiles but seeing my child studying about them makes me feels good. Today I feel proud of my son at this age he is doing something which many wouldn’t have even dared.
Saish will be flying to Peru from Mumbai on 6th June. We wish him all Bon voyage, good luck and success. We wish Saish a very bright future ahead and one day we would like to see his films on National Geographic.
His first Short Film