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Kids Are Not naturally Afraid of Snakes

Cypress Swamp

We are having an unusually cool August, and the wildlife is starting to come out in the Cypress Swamps. I had the pleasure of taking out a 6th grader who had a newly discovered passion for wildlife. She wanted to catch everything. I calmly explained that sometimes it is better to just watch the wildlife, in order to more fully experience their natural behavior. She had a good eye for spotting wildlife, and a very gentle touch. She handled a Green Tree Frog and the Brown Watersnake shown in the video. Her snake handling was quite impressive for someone with little experience. I explained how she should handle the snake, and she followed my instructions amazingly well. Notice the way the snake just climbs around in her hands/arms, and how she never actually grips the snake. When it was time to release the snake, it went very slowly into the water, and popped up a few feet away from her kayak. It is these moments that make our job worthwhile. If we can continue teaching young people about nature, there may be hope for our future.