Originally posted by Patrick Wise
As for using large constrictors to grab attention, this is a double edged sword. Every newbie to the hobbie sees a pic like that and wants a giant snake that on a bad day could easily kill them.
I am not sure about the other people in the reptile education and conservation business, but I am more likely to strangle a spectator on a bad day than any of the snakes in our display are. We choose our display animals very carefully, and they have proven to be even tempered and docile, to the point of tolerating what some would consider "abuse". Unlike me.
We dont allow people to hold the alligators, anacondas and even the turtles for obvious reasons, anyone who has seen us in person and stuck around long enough to listen to the explanations and descriptions of the reptiles in the display would know this.
I dont ask that everyone agree with what we do, but I wish the ones that dont would stay out of the way of the ones that do. We offer people who have never seen a snake the opportunity to interact with one in a controled situation. People can touch or hold a snake if they wish, without having to buy it first. We are not in the business of selling reptiles, but what we do goes a long way to promote reptile ownership to benefit those who are making a living breeding reptiles. We explain why giant pythons and alligators do not make good pets, and reccomend some species that do. If you take the time to browse through the literature, you will find information on CITES, import regulations, WAPPRITA, captive care of many types of reptile, venomous snakes including our prairie rattlers, native species, conservation efforts, etc.