I'm so tired of the media running sensational photos of people proudly holding up snakes they killed. Huntsville Times outdoor writer Alan Clemons posted on his blog today a photo of a guy holding a dead timber rattlesnake. It's the typical dead snake picture: held out toward the camera so it looks much bigger than it really is. Clemons defends the killing of this animal that was posing no imminent danger, saying, "I don't blame [the killer]. I'd have put the sucker out of business, too." Ironically, Clemons wrote a mostly pro-snake column in yesterday's paper, saying, "I've never figured out why people kill snakes just to kill them," and "...if I'm in the woods and run across a rattler, copperhead or moccasin, I'll give it wide berth as often as possible because I'm on his turf." I applaud him for saying that, but today's blog entry seems inconsistent with that stance. Clemons says he will have another post on snakes Thursday, and hopefully that will clarify things a bit.
This seems as good a place as any to mention that several years ago I wrote this article, "Speaking Up for Snakes," for the magazine of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.