I'm a herpetologist, and I know better and more effective ways to catch (and humanely release) snakes, like those copperheads in my yard. Using funnel box traps made from plywood and hardware cloth, we caught over 400 snakes in a recent 2-year survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Conecuh National Forest (pdf here).
Several of the snake trap website's testimonials are disturbing. Here's one:
We left for vacation and when we returned five days later the snake was caught. I have attached pictures to see if you can identify what type of snake it was.It was a gray rat snake. Harmless and quite beneficial. Five days.
On the following "news" clip (which doubles as a commercial for the trap) the owner demonstrates the depth of his understanding of the ecological value of snakes and their role in ecosystems:
"Snakes are not totally bad for the environment."Here's Birmingham Fox 6 News reporter Chris Montana reporting from upscale Mountain Brook where people are not as accustomed to yard snakes as some of us are:
This was the line that almost made me scream:
“Not that you would want to, but with the proper supervision, you can actually humanely release a snake or whatever you catch...”Not that I would want to? The underlying message is that it's OK to let the nasty thing suffer until good and dead. I'm also left wondering what sort of "supervision" Mr. Montana thinks a grown person would actually need to release a snake. Cool name, though, Chris Montana.
It would be nice if there had been some fair and balanced discussion of reptile conservation, but of course local TV stations know that's not what the public wants to hear.