Once again we attended a reptile program that delivered excellent information, as well as attempting to instill a respect for these misunderstood creatures. Once again, however, showmanship degraded the message.
Author’s note: This article originally appeared at eNature.com and is republished here with their kind permission. The information within reflects many of our views.
Ophidiophobia is an irrational fear of snakes. Many people, perhaps a majority, claim to have a loathing or dislike of these limbless reptiles. Why do snakes get such a bad rap?
“When my friend was at a reptile program, they hung a snake around his neck,” a second grader told us during one of our school programs recently. “When the snake started to curl around his neck, the owner said he’d take it off when my friend’s face started to turn purple.”
“The best use for a snake is to make belts and boots!” That sentiment closely follows, “The only good snake is a dead snake!” Despite the fear and animosity toward them, snakes have a place and a purpose in the natural world.
Confused about the differences in bullsnakes and rattlesnakes? Bryon Shipley, Denver Zoo keeper and rattlesnake researcher at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colorado, can help clear up some myths and misconceptions about these two snakes. Read his comments below: