18 January 2009

Of reptiles and fools

Yesterday morning was one of those spontaneous moments, when I took my grandson out for some quality time at Reptile World. The two of us always have a great time when we are together, doing what I call making memories. Yesterdays memories was learning about reptiles and other amphibians.

Ethan saying hi to a blue tongued skink.



Ok so I know that many people are squeamish when it comes to snakes, so if you are close your eyes. I was brought up to believe that the only good snake is a dead snake. I have managed to get past that and appreciate their role in nature. I am still content to just look at them and not do the handling thing - unlike Ethan who was content to touch the tail of Annie the 12 year old Burmese python, who was featured in yesterday's Port Elizabeth Daily Photo.


I did not take many pictures because the light was not that great and some of the snakes like the black mamba were too active. The green mambas' were more cooperative. They are found found in forests chiefly near the coast stretching from the Eastern Cape in South Africa through Mozambique and Tanzania as far as south-east Kenya, going inland as far as southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe. Like the black mamba they are highly venomous, but not as aggressive. If you want more information about these fascinating reptiles go to Wikipaedia.


This rattlesnake was relieved from a pet shop, which was about to sell it as a pet to a five year old. When the owner of Reptile World heard about it he was horrified and immediately took action to get hold of the snake. When they collect it the bottom fell out of the cage - just as well that this happened with the specialists and not the kid. Can you imagine the irresponsibility of the parents and the petshop owner


My hope is that Ethan will have a more balanced view of snakes than I did.

13 comments:

Firefly said...

I rwally think Dylan will enjoy it there, but not Megan. She'll run a country mile when they bring out the snakes.

Max-e said...

Firefly they only bring out the "friendly" snakes. if there is such a thing.

Rose said...

Our kids always enjoyed snakes...they were know to bring home garter snakes. And at work, I would be called on to remove the garter snake that came up by the salesroom occasionally.

And I must say I don't know what the parents were thinking about with the rattler...I thought I had heard everything!

LiD said...

What a fascinating place to take your grandson and that green snake is so beautiful...I was brought up with the same mantra, a good snakes a dead snake, by my country born father. I am afraid of snakes still but I wouldn't kill them, they usually leave us well enough alone.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

God grief!! I hope they take some action against that petshop owner!! I love those pythons Max. It is great that you took Ethan there, a wonderful experience for kids.

Sabrina said...

Max-e,
I went to a child's bday party a few days ago, and the parents had arranged for a snake handler to come...he had a bunch of cool snakes and some bad jokes to share with us. Anyway, he asked the kids what they would do if they saw a snake and most of them said they would go tell a grown up. He said, "That's usually the worst thing you could do." He told us 9 out of 10 snake bites happen when someone is trying to kill a snake.
I think they're cool as long as they're three steps away!
Great pics!

Max-e said...

Sabrina, I would never have thought of bringing a snake handler to a kids birthdays party - now that is different.

Marmsk said...

Lovely snake photos. I like snakes, always have since I was a child. My mother tells me I used to say I could smell a snake, and the funny thing was there would always be one there. Eileen

Boing said...

Reptile parties are becoming more and more popular (in fact they guys from Reptile World do run them as well) as are reptiles as pets. Sadly, too many people get a snake without first knowing about the animal, such as a rattle snake! The biggest danger with exotic venomous snakes is the fact that SA does not stock anti-venom for them. I have heard of some being found in the wild in JHB - probably escapee pets!
Oh, and to clarify, the green mamba is found on the KZN coast, not in the Eastern Cape so you are perfectly safe from them here... We have four deadly species only, Puff Adder, Cape Cobra, Rinkhals and Boomslang.

Cheesy said...

I adore snakes! Thanks for the pics....

Max-e said...

Hi Boing, thanks for the comments and the information on snakes.
A while back I took my grandson to visit Bay World but the Snake Park was being renorvated so there was not mucth to seen.
I would visit more often, but the fee structure unfortunately does not make it worthwhile, if you only want to visit one facility.
Taking an active 3 year old to the museum was very trying, so I had to cut my visit short. I want to go back for another visit, but do not want to have to pay to see another dolphin show. The same applies to visiting the snake park.
I really think that something should be done about the fee structure. If visitors are given a choice I am sure that more people will visit.

Jeanne said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure I have such a balanced view of snakes myself... Having grown up on the Baakens Valley with puffadders regularly appearing in our garden (and once, our pool!!) my parents really put the fear of God into us about snakes. Still, I wouldn't want to see one killed - I just don't want to be the person who has to escort it out my my habitat and back to its own!!

Merisi said...

That rattlesnake business really rattled me, imagining parents as stupid as these! No one should keep wild creatures as pets anyway.