Friends, meet Snakey McSnakerson….
Just kidding! That’s not his real name! But it might as well be — This Burmese Python who goes by the name of ‘Hernia‘ is heavy enough to give you one!
We had the incredible opportunity to hang out (literally!) with Hernia and his rescuer, Bill Boesenberg, owner of Snakes and Scales and the self proclaimed “North Jersey’s Crocodile Hunter“.
Bill and his team rescue reptiles from all over the country. He “founded Snakes-N-Scales and Turtle Tales, LLC in 1995, and is now the largest Animal Outreach Educational Organization in NJ. Snakes-N-Scales comprises a collection of over 400 reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, one of the largest in the surrounding states of NJ, NY, PA and CT”.
To learn more about Bill and his program, please visit http://www.snakes-n-scales.com
“Many people have an uncomfortable feeling about snakes and the bigger they are the more uncomfortable the people become. So when people are watching a TV show, on a channel that is supposedly a nature/fact channel, and they begin to describe the take over of North America by giant pythons loosed in Florida, and headed for all states north, many people become upset. Newspapers print articles about giant snakes eating babies and attacking people as they walk in the fields. Other TV specials appear about how numerous and dangerous these snakes are, and they are coming after you, so people are panicked!
The people write their Congressional representatives and want to know what is being done and how this could have happened. The Congressional reps have seen the same show and they are upset too, so they act in what they believe is in everyone’s best interest. They want to ban the snakes from being pets so no more will be released to take over the world!
So called experts, from organizations that oppose owning any pet that isn’t a domestic cat or dog, are called in to testify. They agree, ban them all! They are going to take over the whole country like some sort of snake plague.
Unfortunately this isn’t an old Pinky And The Braincartoon, it’s real. More unfortunate is that it’s all wrong! Burmese pythons are loose in Florida, along with monkeys, pigs, parrots, iguanas, parakeets, snakehead fish, house cats and a host of other animals that don’t belong there. Yes, that’s true. But unlike the pigs, monkeys, parakeets, snakeheads and cats, Burmese pythons can’t handle even a moderate winter, they die. So the idea that they will be showing up in Times Square anytime soon is ridiculous.
They don’t eat children, nor attack people out for a walk, and the numbers are at best unknown, and at worst grossly inflated. They do get big, but they are mostly shy animals and will run, as fast as is possible with no legs, from people. It probably is a good idea to have some form of permit system in place, but dogs are licensed everywhere and are still running loose and are much more dangerous to children than big snakes could ever be.
The furor was created from fear for the sake of ratings, to sell newspapers and TV commercials. The loose pig is actually more dangerous to crops, local animals and children but loose pigs don’t sell commercials; loose giant child eating pythons do.
We’ll try again tomorrow night, okay Pinky?”
-Bill Boesenberg, Snakes and Scales