Well, the latest Python Challenge is in the books. As of last Thursday, they were reporting 102 animals collected. They will be withholding the final total until their banquet on the 27th. So it sounds like this years challenge was slightly more successful than the original. Personally, I remain skeptical. If the challenge was truly aimed at reducing the number of Burms in the Everglades, shouldn’t it be carried into the Everglades, where the bulk of the population lives, rather than limit it to the outskirts? Also, the government, and media, refuses to discuss the damage currently being done in the swamp by projects that continue to redirect water flow as well as big sugar companies dumping pollution into the ecosystem. Both of these are a bigger threat to the ecosystem than the invasive snakes.
They have finally stepped back from their Hundreds of thousands estimate to a more reasonable tens of thousands, but they continue to sensationalize the problem. Irresponsible keepers are still mentioned first as the cause, although Hurricane Andrew is finally being offered as a source of these animals. Unfortunately, we see things differently then the non-informed.
As a step in a new direction, Discovery’s Snaketacular was a dismal disappointment. It was merely a collage of the worst viral snake videos mixed with the “Top 5 Discovery snake moments”. Fifteen minutes was all I could stomach. Even Danny Trejo hammed it up and made it ridiculous. That is why I am withholding judgement on the new “Venom Hunters” set to premiere this week. I know some fairly familiar names are involved in the show, and I can’t imagine them purposely doing us wrong. But I also know that Discovery has back stabbed other well known names in the editing room. Even the “Eaten Alive” guy was unhappy with the final cut of that show. So while I’m hoping the knowledge comes through, I’m cringing at what the final draft will look like.
Another news story I heard recently was about a 5 year old boy accidentally shot when an Oklahoma police officer tried to shoot a snake out of a tree. First off, if the snake was in a tree, it wasn’t threatening anyone, so why was the law called to remove it? Second, why did the police respond rather than animal control? And finally, why was an officer of the law not trained with firearms well enough to know that you NEVER shoot up? I am not knowledgeable in firearms at all, but I know that much! Even small caliber ammunition has the potential to travel up to a mile! In any case, this is a tragic story of people’s paranoia causing incredible harm. I can only offer my thoughts and prays to this child’s family, as I shake my damn head!
On a happier note, plans are underway to continue our relationship with Repticon. I will be talking to representatives soon to secure our spots in Chattanooga in April and Nashville in June. Unfortunately, a Knoxville date hasn’t been set yet. Jessica and Robert Taylor are also planning on making another appearance at the Exotic Pet Expo in Nashville in April. We had to pass on January’s Memphis show, simply because we lack representatives on that end of the state. We continue to look for someone to fill the void, but no one has caught our attention yet.
I’ll be attempting to sift through my newsfeed in the days to come and will bring you highlights of what I find.
Until next time, Happy Herping!