Zoology Museum showcases reptile species, soothes fears
AYDIN - Anatolia News Agency
The Zooogy Museum displays collections stretching back three centuries, and there are many different reptile species collected from different parts of Turkey.Many may slither and a few may bite, but reptiles are nothing to really fear – at least that’s according to officials at Adnan Menderes University (ADÜ) Science Department’s Zoology Museum, who are looking to end people’s fears about the creatures.
“We are trying to help people to learn the reality and information about snakes and reptiles. They are not harmful, on the contrary, they are harmless,” said Kurtuluş Olgun, the founder of the museum and the department head, recently told Anatolia news agency.
The museum has collections stretching back three centuries, and there are many different reptile species collected from different parts of Turkey, he said.
Noting that the museum exhibited a total of 150 reptile species, Olgun said a total of 168 such species inhabited Turkey. There are also serpentine, frog and turtle species in the museum, he added.
Olgun said the museum helped people overcome their fears of reptiles. “The reptiles and the species of other animals are used to demonstrate to students during courses. Other than that, the museum officials give information to visitors and help them understand the nature of reptiles,” added Olgun.
“In public people always assume they are only feetless animals. However, there are many other reptiles that do not have feet,” said Olgun, adding that many people were killing such reptile species under the assumption that they were snakes, driving them toward extinction.
The museum helps people to differentiate between species and learn the nature of reptiles and snakes, according to Olgun.
Noting that many people immediately kill snakes when they see them, Olgun said many snakes were actually harmless and do not possess poison.
Still, the creatures are facing extinction because they are killed so frequently, Olgun said.
Snakes, however, are needed to protect the biological balance, said Olgun, adding that the natural balance is severely upset when people, acting out of ignorance, carelessly kill reptiles.
As a result of information given to visitors at the museum, people learn the reality about nature, helping them overcome their fear.
Speaking about the information center, a teacher from Aydın, Akın Çelebioğlu, said they used to kill reptiles out of fears that they were poisonous. “However, we have learned the truth,” he said.
Green-colored reptiles are not poisonous species. “We always assumed that it was poisonous, and we always killed it when we see it around our homes or in the gardens. Now I learned that this reptile does not have any poison and can’t harm people, thanks to the Zoology Museum,” he said.