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Mike Clark ~ 02/18/1950 - 10/10/2010  We Love You Daddy!

A righteous man cares for
the needs of his animal...
Proverbs 12:10

All Snake Killers
Click Here

 

 

God has made us different,
he made us so unique.
We slither on the ground,
we have no hands and feet.
Though you find us scary,
or maybe just plain weird,
our intentions are not to hurt you
or cause you such great fear.
Our venom's not meant for humans
but to help us when we eat.
So, please stop the senseless killing
before we're all extinct.
We're not saying you have to love us
or tell us we're the best.
God's the one who created us.
So, treat us with respect.

written by Sarah Clark
for Southeastern Reptile Rescue

 

 

Fears are educated into us
and can, if we wish,
be educated out.
-Karl A. Merringer


The snake is an animal.
It has a backbone and a heart.
It has red blood.
It drinks water and eats food.
It breathes air and feels fear
just like every other
animal in the world.
And, it's in a body that's
the hardest thing
for the average
person to understand.
(author-unknown)

 Pet Snakes in Georgia 

Join us on Channel 2 Action News WSB in Atlanta Monday April 28th at 5:00pm.
Learn how we ended up with the yellow anaconda and the gaboon viper pictured below.

 

            My love for snakes started when I was a kid. Though I didn't know much about them, I was fascinated! As I got older and more knowledgeable, I talked my parents into letting me have a pet snake. I started with a garter snake and a black rat snake. Later, I ended up with a couple of boa constrictors that were given to me by a couple who grew bored with them. That passion for snakes that I had as a kid has turned into what is now Southeastern Reptile Rescue. After several years of dealing with nuisance, unwanted and/or neglected reptiles I've come to realize how many people have snakes that probably shouldn't. The majority of people that I encounter, keep their animals as they should and have proper husbandry techniques. But, there is a small minority of reptile enthusiasts out there that give other reptile owners very bad reputations. Private reptile owners who do not deal with the public on a regular basis in regards to snakes and snake rescue may find it hard to understand why someone would want to ban certain reptiles. I know I did. But, after finding red tail boas in parking lots, reticulated pythons in barns, ball pythons in flower gardens, Burmese pythons crossing the road and four foot monitor lizards under storage sheds, I see where the reptile hating world is coming from. I definitely condone private ownership. I want kids just like I was to be able to have a pet snake or lizard. This is one reason I do hundreds of hours each year of public education about reptiles. The problem with private ownership of reptiles in Georgia is the private reptile owners themselves. Those of us who are responsible keepers need to spend our time educating everyone around us, especially, the new to the hobby crowd. Each time a snake escapes from its incompetent owner's garage, it creates more fear of an already hated animal that pushes us closer to reptile restricted legislation. If reptile breeders, dealers and pet shop owners would ask simple questions and use a small amount of common sense before making a sale of a 24" Burmese python to a fourteen year old kid, many of these problems would be easily avoided. Many people that love snakes spend countless hours trying to figure out how to make money doing what they love. This often turns them into reptile dealers who overtime will sell any snake to any person with enough money to keep them in business. This is the very thing that may eventually eliminate private ownership of reptiles.
            I was recently contacted by WSB channel 2, which is a news station in Atlanta. They said they were doing a story on illegal reptiles and wanted to know if they could interview me. I was very hesitant at first and even consulted a couple of well known reptile experts that I hold great respect for. As one of them said, "Jason, if you don't help them with their story then someone else will. That person may do more harm than good", I decided to go forward with the interview. The reporter and camera crew arrived at our residence where we took them to our reptile building. They wanted to see all the snakes that had been held illegally by Georgia residents and were incidentally turned over to us either by the state or the owners. I showed several snakes and were asked several pointed questions about private ownership and current reptile laws in Georgia that I tried to answer as best I could. After the interview and filming were complete, the reporter said she was planning on ordering a couple of snakes to document the procedure and wanted to know if the snakes could be turned over to our organization after filming was completed. She said they planned to order a gaboon viper and an anaconda, which they did and they are now living comfortably in our facility. The gaboon viper is of course illegal to own in Georgia without proper permits, which we do have. The anaconda is legal to own without restrictions - for now. I hope this will be a wake up call to all reptile owners in Georgia as well as other states. We need to stop focusing on making a buck and focus on the animals that we fell in love with!

The Yellow Anaconda (Pictured Below) is legal to own in Georgia. This only becomes a problem when irresponsible individuals acquire these snakes and let them escape or do not know how to properly handle them and receive injury from it. It is unlikely that this snake, if released, could survive a Georgia winter. What may be more detrimental than its survival in the wild is the potential to spread parasites and disease to the native reptiles of Georgia which in turn may not be able to survive themselves. This particular anaconda was born and raised in captivity which greately reduces the risk of spreading any disease or parasite.
Yellow Anaconda
Gaboon Viper
This Gaboon Viper (Pictured Above) was captured in Africa and then legally shipped to the U.S. The Gaboon viper boasts ownership of the largest fangs in the world, up to two inches long. It can also inject more venom with one bite than any other venomous snake. Fortunately it is an extreemely docile snake that rarely bites. This however, can in itself be dangerous because a snake handler is much more likely to let down his or her guard and get too close. If you get within this snakes strike range, you will not have time to consider moving if it decides to bite! Unlike many other snakes, the gaboon viper can strike in ANY direction, even backwards over its tail. Couple this with a nearly 100% strike range and you'd better stay back.
Jason Clark removing a South American Rattlesnake from its cage for WSB Channel 2.
(photo by Warren Bond Jr.)
 
Mike Clark showing one of our alligators to the WSB camera. (photo by Warren Bond Jr.)
 
 
Jason with "Firecracker" the albino timber rattlesnake. (photo by Warren Bond Jr.) 
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Community Education Specialists

NEVER ATTEMPT TO KILL,
CAPTURE OR HARRASS A SNAKE.
THIS IS HOW MOST BITES OCCUR.

 

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