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… http://blogs.augusta.com/
node/3348

One spectator can’t tell if these two gators are mating or fighting in July 2009:http://www.floridahikes.com/blog/2009/07/14/gator-rumble-at-green-cay-wetlands/

Gators’ populations declined in wetlands after Hurricane Ike this past summer:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/outdoors/tompkins/6547556.html

Gators? Snakes? No fear, say Lutheran Teens Planting Wetlands (August and July 2009)
http://www.thecamarilloacorn.com/news/2009-08-28/Faith/Lutheran_teens_
brave_gators_snakes_to_help_restore.html
 (and)http://www.wfn.org/2009/07/msg00167.html

Biologist Eric Hansen carries on his father’s legacy of preserving a threatened Central Valley snake (CA September 2009)http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2009/09/26/news/1_hansen_090926.txt#

Wildlife research assists training at Camp Shelby in MS (September 2009)
Snakes and tortoises implanted with radio transmitters.http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090917/NEWS/909170360/1001/news

Louisiana Honey Swamp Gator Wetlands Tour (photos)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrchriscornwell/sets/72157605902350775/

Editorial: Wild Animals Belong in the Wild (September 2009)
http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090923/NEWS04
/909230309#

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