Ipswich snake girl a real charmer
FEARLESS females have bared their love for reptiles, as well as a little flesh, in a bid to help save the iconic Tasmanian Devil from extinction.
The stunning calendar is called The Australian Girls of Herpetology (and for those of you who don't know, that's the study and care of amphibians and reptiles).
Ipswich beauty Emma-Jean Smith, 18, has been an amateur herpetologist for three years - even keeping venomous snakes as part of her hobby.
"I have eastern browns, death adders, colletts and spotted blacks at home, they're all venomous," Ms Smith said.
"I also have different pythons, different kinds of geckoes and lizards, and knob tail geckoes."
Another Queenslander, Shanelle King of Nerang, joined Emma for their striking photo shoots.
"I get to tell people that my job is a disability support worker, but I breed reptiles on the side," she said.
"It is awesome to support the Tasmanian Devil, to help them start up the population again."
The devil is at serious risk of extinction from the highly contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). By late 2009 devil numbers had plummeted from 250,000 to 50,000 - a total drop of 80% - with no sign of stopping.
Photographer Shannon Plummer said the calendar featuring reptiles and amphibians posing with their handlers was a major fundraiser for Devil Ark.
Production company MAD got behind the project too, with CEO Craig Douglas saying it was a little outside his comfort zone.
"While we were filming in Queensland, we came into close contact with what looked to me to be the biggest crocodile in the world," he said.
"Now we want to sell as many calendars as possible."
Calendars cost $25. Visit www.aghcalendar.com for details.