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The Sidewinder Ranch
Forget Steve Irwin

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Steve Irwin, who doesnt know him? God in the eyes of beginning snake keepers and laymen on the Discovery and Animal Planet channels. Everywhere I go or at lectures that I hold, the first thing I hear is: you must be watching... and that tires me, because it means that I have to explain it one more time. Lets be honest, man like Irwin, Barr and other TV heroes show us nice pictures. They visit places we only dream about and they always find the most beautiful and rare snakes. And it must be said, they know a lot about snakes. But what the laymen dont know is that all the scenes are staged, from finding to catching. For example, Steve makes a remark like I would love to rescue a catenatus from drowning in cold water and sure enough, his wife Terry yells, Steve here floats one!! In his enthusiasm Steve starts running to the scene where a complete TV crew is already waiting for him. But whos noticing this? The annoying thing about Steve is that he always picks up the snakes like they are sticks and then states that once the snakes know that Steve wont harm them, they wont bite. Absolute nonsense, he is welcome to try this with my snakes. But the young folks love to watch him do this and whats worse, they believe him and try to do this at home. They dont know that the snakes Steve handles with his hands or a twig (always to short) are cooled beforehand. When a new movie has been shown on one of the channels like the one recently about copperheads, wherein was told that copperheads are not dangerous, laymen and starting snake keepers call me and ask where they can buy these nice animals. What the hero's on tv dont tell however is that although the bite of a copperhead is normally not lethal, the risk of necrosis is high (see photo at the bottom). The risk of an amputation is high. Again, nice pictures, beautiful snakes, but my advice?

 Dont try, just watch.

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