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PCS Alumni: Jake Meney

The second article for Throwback Thursdays sheds light on Jake Meney, who started at PCS in Kindergarten, and is now a Zookeeper.

 

Whilst other kids read Pokémon and played on the Xbox, Jake  was subscribing to Reptile magazines and watching videos on them. He studied reptiles from the age of five, and had many interesting scaly pets. In Year 3, Jake received an award for catching a Redback Spider in the playground and the award stated ‘Considering the safety of others’, but as his Mum said, he probably just wanted it as a pet. Steve Irwin was a major influence on Jake at a young age, and if he was going fancy dress, then he would be dressed as Steve. His goal at school was to become a herpetologist and work with venom.

 

In high school, Jake took every opportunity to do work experience at the Australian Reptile Park and this led to him getting a job there as a Reptile and Spider Keeper. When Jake had his license, the school called on him to come and help with a brown snake spotted in the Junior School area. He caught it and released it in the wild. Jake currently runs the educational shows at the Australian Reptile Park in the Central Coast as the crocodile handler.

 

Most recently, Jake has beaten the venom record of milking funnel-web spiders in April 2019. As reported in various news outlets, this new record of 0.30 mg average milking per spider broke the record, which stood for five years, of 0.27 mg. This amount of venom, though minuscule, could kill a room full of people.

 

It is not all about breaking records for Jake, it is his love of everything reptile that keeps him going back. He made the local news in 2017 after he received a ‘love bite’ from Monster, a giant reticulated python whom he had worked with since she was little.

 

Jake regularly appears on television on shows such as ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Hughesy, We Have a Problem’, sharing his extensive knowledge.

 

Click here for full articles and podcast as Jake talks about his work:

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/reptile-park-keeper-bitten-by-giant-python/news-story/f15d85ab479df71301275b9e45cfd399

 

https://soundcloud.com/theherpetoculturepodcast/herping-life-in-australia-with-jake-meney-of-the-australian-reptile-park

 

https://www.ausleisure.com.au/news/spider-venom-record-broken-at-the-australian-reptile-park/

 

https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/national/keeper-breaks-record-for-milking-funnel-web-spiders/video/dae63773404dc576fa974a921fcc730c

 

Congratulations Jake and well done!!

 

Lyn Jagger

Head of Senior School and Year 12 Wellbeing Mentor

 

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