We feel that Steve Irwin and his show have done much to promote the enthusiasm for reptiles. However, he does not promote safety and respect to the same extent. The man is evidently gifted when it comes to dealing with reptiles, and has been fortunate not to be seriously injured whilst doing so. I admit that what comes naturally to one person can be difficult for another (as a former horse trainer and riding instructor I have witnessed this first hand) We distribute Midwest equipment and I have been tempted to send him a collapsible hook or tongs compliments of SCALES. He has been tailing snakes for so long, he would probably find a hook awkward and cumbersome, and it would definitely take away from the daredevil effect. We meet kids who idolize Steve during our educational presentations. It is amazing how many are disappointed we do not have cobras on public display. I have often been asked "could you hold the snake up by his tail like the crocodile hunter?" while holding a snake for the group to see. Rattlesnake bites have also increased in our area over the past few years, mostly tourists and uninformed hikers who wander into their area, encounter one, and beleive they can emulate Steve Irwin - one guy had on the full costume, complete with shorts and sandals, and was promptly bitten when he picked up a prairie rattler by the tail tti identify it. I guess the agitated rattling was not enough of a clue!
The dude RAN to get help from the ferry operator, and ended up in the hospital - I guess he missed the episode on invenomation.