James Ashe Antivenom Trust

James & Royjan smallJames Ashe (1925-2004) was one of Africa’s greatest field herpetologists and established the Bio-Ken Snake Farm at Watamu on the Kenyan coast in order to supply snake venoms to researchers, and for use in manufacturing antivenoms. The James Ashe Antivenom Trust (JAAT) was established in October 2004 following James’ death, and it operates to make antivenoms available free-of-charge to victims of snakebite who would otherwise go untreated.

The main beneficiaries of the JAAT were residents of the residents of coastal Kenya, particularly in the Watamu and Malindi districts. Snakebites are common among the men, women and children who live in these largely agricultural communities, and bites by mambas, puff adders, stiletto snakes and cobras are an ever-present threat.

Victim of puff adder bite, Malindi Hospital, Kenya

The work of the James Ashe Antivenom Trust was managed for many years by James’ widow, Sanda Ashe (1944-2018), and herpetologist Royjan Taylor (1975-2019) who ran the day-to-day operations of the Bio-Ken Snake Farm in Watamu. The Trust was registered with the Kenyan authorities and had a board of trustees who include Oxford University’s Professor Sir David A. Warrell KCMG, as well as Sanda, Royjan, and two Watamu community members Melinda Rees and Shafiq Ebrahimjee.

Tragically, Royjan Taylor passed away suddenly after a short illness in June 2019, and the task of running the snake farm was then taken up by his wife Clare, supported by friends and family. A new not-for-profit organization, the Taylor-Ashe Antivenom Foundation was established under the leadership of members of the Kenyan business and wildlife conservation communities to amplify and continue the work of James, Sanda and Royjan. You can learn more about the work of the Taylor-Ashe Antivenom Foundation here.

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP

You can support the work of the Taylor-Ashe Antivenom Foundation by donating to them directly via the link below.

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