Monday, July 26, 2004

Appreciating snakes

Just for those who don't understand my love of reptiles, snakes in particular, I am writing this is response to a note that was posted by a friend.

I do understand why some people fail to see the attraction in regard to snakes. They are cold-blooded. They aren't loving and don't come to you when you call them. They aren't cuddly or cute in the sense that a dog, cat or even a mouse or rat is. Snakes feel no loyalty to those who care for them. There are venomous snakes that kill within minutes.

The Inland Taipan of Australia is one of, if not the most venomous snake on earth. Right here in the United States we have a variety of Rattlesnakes that cause serious illness and death when the bites are left untreated. Eastern diamondback, Western diamondback, Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, Mojave Green Rattlesnake as well as others.

We have the Coral snake which is in the same family (Elapidae) as Cobras and Mambas. While docile and very reluctant to bite, the Coral's venom is highly neurotoxic and can be deadly without proper treatment of a bite. Learn about venom.

Therefore I can understand why some people don't see the attraction for snakes as pets. However, I do feel there is nothing wrong with a person having a python, boa, or most any non-venomous snake as a pet. On the other hand, some of the species of constrictors that grow to be very large, I feel should be left to expert snake handlers and herpetologists since they can be just as deadly as venomous snakes. Ball Pythons don't grow to be a dangerously unmanageable size. They are shy and prefer to stay away from people. That's how Zero was. While he may not have been a cuddly dog, he was shy and gentle and never hurt anyone.

Zero was definitely a real animal. A living, breathing animal. You would have to love snakes and reptiles as I do to understand. But that's just me. I love animals. All animals. Not just a select few that behave in such a way that rewards me. Or animals that are cute, cuddly and playful. But all animals. That includes snakes.

There is much to learn about snakes and so much more to be truly admired about them. Please take time to learn about them and appreciate them as they are then perhaps my love of snakes will become a bit more clear.

Learn more

Reptile search: Herpsearch
Thinkquest: Snakes
Reptile Database
Society for the study of amphibians and reptiles

In tribute to a great herpetologist

Dr. Joe Slowinski's site
Outside Online: Bitten


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