Things that Slither and Snap

I’ve met plenty of people who share my ophidiophobia. But few can rival me with real-life encounters like I’ve had with snakes. Have you ever worn a cobra on your head so that its fangs face your face as you break an expensive lamp to get free? Well, I didn’t put it there! How about coming head to head with a pet python as it cruised out from under the couch while you were babysitting? Trapped in an outhouse with a black racer? Startled seven snakes on an island—where no one had seen snakes in forty years? Ran across water to race a freaked-out snake to the shore? What about having a garter snake speed up your pant leg the very first time you wore bellbottoms and sprawled in a field to daydream? Stupidly volunteered at the cool “rainforest” exhibit at the Boston Aquarium, only to be one of several volunteers holding a very long constrictor? It’s possible that having been born the year of the snake tipped the scales in favor of running into more than my fair share. I don’t want to hurt them; I just want to avoid them—and I attract them like I’m the Snake Whisperer. I often wonder about people working in wetlands – how they feel about things that slither and snap – if it worries them, too. These recent stories are a testimony, in a way, to the bravery (and curiosity) of Wetlanders out there. I admire them. But I agree with the editorial at the end of the list –wild animals belong in the wild, not kept as pets.

Dead Gators Make Strange Bedfellows – Possibly the Weirdest Wetland Story of the Year (GA) (August 2009) It’s a rare occasion these days when the anti-hunting crowd finds itself allied with some of the finest outdoorsmen…

One spectator can’t tell if these two gators are mating or fighting in July 2009:

Gators’ populations declined in wetlands after Hurricane Ike this past summer:

Gators? Snakes? No fear, say Lutheran Teens Planting Wetlands (August and July 2009)

Biologist Eric Hansen carries on his father’s legacy of preserving a threatened Central Valley snake (CA September 2009)

Wildlife research assists training at Camp Shelby in MS (September 2009)
Snakes and tortoises implanted with radio transmitters.

Louisiana Honey Swamp Gator Wetlands Tour (photos)

Editorial: Wild Animals Belong in the Wild (September 2009)

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