Herper.com: Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Florida Moccasin Bite

A 37-year-old Osteen, Florida, woman was gardening when she felt a stabbing pain on her finger. She discovered she had been bitten by a 3-foot water moccassin. She was treated at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 30, 2007

King Cobras in India

The first record of a king cobra nest (and subsequent hatching) from the Ramsar wetland site in the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary has been noted. (News source)

Labels: ,

Indiana Timbers

Purdue University researchers are tracking timber rattlesnakes... (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Florida Snakebite

A 4-year-old boy in Clermont, Florida was bitten by a rattlesnake on the foot. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nepalese Snakebites

Four people have died from snakebite during extensive flooding in the Banke district of Nepal. The snakes have apparently been pushed out of their normal habitat into conflict with humans. (News source.)

Labels: ,

California Rattler

A Lake County, California, rancher ran across a 40-inch western diamondback, which is more common in southern California. (News source.)


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cape Fear Serpentarium

The Wilmington, NC, Cape Fear Serpentarium is profiled here.


Pennsylvania Snakebite

A conservation volunteer in Tioga County was bitten by a timber rattlesnake on state forest land while moving a large rock. He's recovering. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Louisiana Gators

Following the hurricanes and a drought, Louisiana's alligator population was hurt severely, but it appears to be rising now. 42,000 coastal nests have been found this year. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Big Snake Down in Georgia

What was called a 7-foot "boa constrictor" was seen roaming a Georgia neighborhood. DNR refused to remove it because it wasn't endangered or threatened. (News source.)

Sort of begs the question: isn't the release of an exotic species a wildlife crime in Georgia? Maybe not. But then again, what's the likelihood that the original identification of the snake as a boa was correct? Might just have been a large ratsnake or coachwhip.


Asian Extinctions

Asian conservationists are trying to prevent the extinction of several species, most of which end up in the food markets. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Ball Python Roaming House

What sounds like a three-foot ball python was found in an Arkansas woman's cabinet. Source unknown, but ended up as a pet for a firefighter rescuer's kid. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Croc Hunter Challenges Preserve

An Australian crocodile hunter and taxidermist has challenged the government funded crocodile preserve in North Queensland being named in honor of Steve Irwin, claiming that it will hurt the commercial crocodile industry. He has challenged the Irwin family to a debate on crocodiles in that country. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Lizard in Iceland

Teenage girls in Iceland found a lizard skeleton in a tree bed. Someone from the local university says it was probably an escaped pet. No identification was made. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Snake Bite

An Australian man working at a Venom Supplies, Tanunda, was bitten on the finger while milking a cantil. He is in stable condition. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NY Gator?

A small caiman or alligator has been reported in a small pond in Ossining, New York. DEC officials haven't found it yet. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Malaysian Croc Attack

A 60-year-old Malaysian man was attacked by a crocodile while wading in a river, bitten and bruised 14 times before struggling loose. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Chinese Youth Opt for Herps

Reptiles are becoming fashionable pets for many Chinese young people. (News source.)


Lake Ladora

Sightings of a large reptilian creature in Colorado's Lake Ladora (rumored to be a released caiman or alligator) turned out to be a large snapping turtle. (News source.)


Monday, July 23, 2007

Croc Research Center

Australia is buying 135,000 hectares in Cape York Peninsula for a crocodile research center, to be named in honor of Steve Irwin. (News source.)


Dog Saves Toddler

A rattlesnake crawled up to and struck at a 1-year-old Colorado child. Zoey the chihuahua jumped in between and took the bites. The dog was successfully treated for the envenomation. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Better Safe Than Sorry

Nature Preserve workers at Pembroke Pines, FL, are now required to wear snake-proof boots and chaps, due to a water moccasin bite in 2006. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Idaho Gator

A young free-roaming alligator was captured by police in Bonneville County, ID. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Chinese Frog Poaching

Hunters are illegally taking tiger frogs and other species for the meat market, and Chinese researchers say this could lead to extinction for some species. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oscar the Gator

A resident of Okefenokee Swamp Park since it began in 1945, (and fully mature at that point), Oscar the alligator has been found dead of natural causes. He was 12 foot, 9 inches, and is believed to be a bit smaller than when he was in full health. (News source.)


UK Reptile Farm

A breeder of rare reptiles near Dorchester has been granted permission to continue his business, despite a zoning official's recommendation against it. The district council noted that the breeder's success and the innocuous nature of the project made it worth preserving. (News source.)


Cyprus Whipsnake

Cyprus researchers are investigating a report of a very large whipsnake near Paphos, up to 3 meters long, which could make it the longest snake ever recorded on that island. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Aliens in the UK

The Herpetological Conservation Trust is trying to track any non-native herp species discovered in the south of England. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Snakeskin Story

Finding a snake's shed skin elicits memories... (News source.)

An Akron Alligator

A boy goes fishing in Ohio and catches a small gator... (News source.)

Labels: ,

Smuggling Charges

Three people from Louisiana and Florida plead not guilty to charges of smuggling rare turtles. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Politics and Salties

Whether the North Queensland saltwater crocodile populations are booming or not is the controversy creating sparring between the Environmental Ministry and other politicians. An in-house croc survey only fueled the fighting. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Australia and Cane Toad Menace

One researcher of the cane toad invasion in Australia suggests that the species is beginning to integrate within Australian ecosystems with less harm to natives than originally reported by conservationists. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Florida Snake Bite

An elderly woman at a Jacksonville, FL, retirement home was bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake. She was treated at a local hospital. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Texas Attraction Gets Update

A New Braunfels, Texas, snake farm attraction is undergoing renovations and has changed its name to Animal World and Snake Farm to reflect the variety of species besides snakes found within the attraction. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wisconsin Frog Call Survey

Volunteers for the La Crosse River Marsh amphibian monitoring survey are being solicited in Wisconsin. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Rambo vs Cobra

Apparently, the upcoming movie, John Rambo, has a scene with the title character and a cobra. I'm guessing the cobra doesn't make it; but would be nice to see it just tossed into another section of jungle...


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gator in Pennsylvania

Another abandoned alligator in Pennsylvania. (A good reason for implementing mandatory buyer's education and serious consideration for limiting impulse sales, but there is at least one current, and unfortunate, attempt to ban crocodilian sales in this state.)


Seattle Zoo Python Dies

Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo lost their 18-foot female reticulated python during surgery for removing retained eggs. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Russian Reptile Zoos

A couple of "crocodile farms" have opened up in the Krasnodar region of Russia. From the news, "One of the farms with two crocodiles and one alligator is situated in Temryuksky district, and the second farm near Anapa keeps four crocodiles. However, crocodiles are not the only dwellers of the farms – they also keep such reptiles as snakes and lizards."

Labels: ,

Colorado Pond Creature Hunted

Wildlife officers have set up mountain lion traps on the banks of Jayhawker Ponds to see if they can trap whatever the creature is (crocodilian, perhaps) that has been reported in the water. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Czech Croc Farm

A farm in the Czech Republic has started raising young crocodiles, but hasn't figured out what is going to happen to them - they can't legally cull the adults in Europe. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Australia's Croc Skin Processing

Australia is threatening to move their crocodile skin processing industry from Indonesia to China due to double taxation on the product. (News source.)


Rare Pets

A Scottish teen has (through financial sponsorship) acquired a pair of the rare Fiji iguanas in hopes of breeding them. (News source.)

Australian Navy Helps Sea Turtle

A hawksbill sea turtle with pneumonia was rescued by the Australian navy when found drifting in the Darwin harbor. It is being treated at the Ark Animal Hospital. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Philadelphia Snake Hunt Over

The big snake reported in a Philadelphia suburb has not been seen over the last two weeks, and a snake hunter came up empty. They believe it has either moved on or may have been captured by someone else. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Beach Patrol

The Sri Lankan conservation group, the Turtle Conservation Project, has hired former egg-poachers to patrol and protect nests of sea turtles. (News source.)


Snake Farm Phobia

A Mapleton, UT, snake farm (primarily ball pythons and boas) has been attacked by neighbors who think it will lower property values, despite an independent auditor's report that suggests far less of an impact. (News source.)


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Philadelphia Snake Hunt Continues

A local snake-catcher has been hired to try and locate the large snake reported in the Bristol area of Philadelphia. (News source.)

Labels: ,

"Giant Reptile" Seen in Colorado

Sightings of a "giant reptile," possibly a gator or caiman, at Jayhawker Ponds in Loveland, CO, have closed the area to visitors. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Truck Stop Snake

A 5 1/2 foot snake crawled out of the bottom of a truck that stopped to fill up in Bethlehem, PA. Where it came from is unknown. The news report calls it a boa constrictor, but the photo of the snake being held by police shows that it is actually a Burmese python. (First question I'd ask: did the truck just come up from Florida?)

Labels: ,

Friday, July 13, 2007

Toad Emergence Imminent

An Oregon nature center is watching as hundreds of thousands small Western toadlets gather for mass emergence from the ponds. (News source.)


Crocodilian Rescue

Croc Encounters, a Florida crocodilian-rescue center, is profiled. (News source.)


NC Hellbenders

North Carolina biologists are surveying for hellbenders in the state's rivers. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Anaconda Goes to the Vet

Sedating a yellow anaconda for its radiation therapy is not as easy as it sounds... (News source.)


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Frogs and Rainforest Clearings

Clearings created for powerlines in the rainforest may be helping to curb the spread of an amphibian fungal disease. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Cloning Sea Turtles

Malaysia will practice cloning green sea turtles, then try to clone leatherbacks. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Reptile Store Must Move

A Port Charlotte, Florida, couple who sell reptiles over the internet (Ridgeway Reptiles) have run into zoning trouble and must move their shop out of the residential area. (News source.)

Texas Child Bitten

A two-year-old child from Sinton, TX, was bitten by a snake and hospitalized. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Reticulated Python Escapee Found

A 12-foot reticulated python that escaped from its home in Tennessee has been recaptured. Neighbors are relieved. (News source.)


Hunt for a Giant Anole

A travel writer describes his search for the "giant" anole, Anolis roosevelti, on the island of Culebra in Puerto Rico. It hasn't been captured since 1932, though sporadic sightings suggest it still exists. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alligator "Rustling"

Several alligator farms in Florida supplement their egg production with wild eggs, which means they have to go out and "steal" the eggs from wild nests (with state permission). (News source.)


Malayan Pit Viper Medicine

Malayan pit viper venom is being tested as medicine for stroke victims. The drug, Viprinex or Ancrod, could be given up to six hours after onset of stroke to break up blood clots. (News source.)

Labels: ,

India: Snake Hunter in Demand

A Bengal snake catcher has plenty of business as rising flood waters drive reptiles out of their homes and in contact with humans. He has caught two dozen cobras and other snakes in three days. Twenty snakebite victims have already been treated. (News source.)


Snake in a Bed

An elderly Nebraska woman was frightened in bed when a 4-foot snake crawled over it. She jumped out and called police, but the snake disappeared. She is sleeping on the couch until relatives find the snake. (News source.)


Mississippi Gators Move to the City

The fifth alligator this year has been spotted in Columbia, MS, wandering in from the river habitat. The latest, a small gator less than three feet in length, hasn't yet been caught and relocated. (News source.)


Monitors and Cats

Cape Coral, Florida, pet-owners suspect that Nile monitors are killing their cats. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Golf Course Habitat

Turns out that drying ponds on golf courses in the off season can effectively create amphibian habitats usable by a wide range of species. Temporary ponds help eliminate bullfrogs (usually predators of other species) and releases nutrients into the soil. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Turtle-Friendly Fishing

Turtle-friendly "circle hooks" are replacing the traditional J hook in an experiment with Malaysian fishermen to keep sea turtles from being injured during fishing. (News source.)


Python on Loose

A Baltimore County, MD, woman says she was bitten by her 12-foot python as it escaped from its cage. The snake has disappeared. (News source.)


Dutch Sand Lizards

Sand lizards (lacertids, I suspect) will be rounded up on the sand dunes near Noordwijk, to keep them from being disturbed while the coast is being reinforced. They will be "fenced in" at a new location while the work is done, and then allowed to return on their own. (Why does this seem like a strange idea? Maybe the significant points were lost in translation.) (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sea Turtle, Inc., Expanding

The non-profit sea turtle conservation group, Sea Turtle, Inc., will be expanding 3200 sqft this fall. They are located on South Padre Island, and are especially focused on hatch-and-release of Kemp's ridley sea turtles. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Fer-de-lance Hunt

Researchers are seeking fer-de-lance on the island of Martinique so that they can be used in the creation of more antivenom; the current stocks, created 20 years ago, are losing their effectiveness. (News source.)


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Salamander Crossing

A Vermont town is seeking a grant to create culverts along the road near Huizenga Swamp, to keep blue-spotted salamanders and other amphibians from being hit on the road. (News source.)


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Golfer Bitten

A Colorado golfer was bitten by a rattlesnake while retrieving his ball from ankle-high grass on the 6th hole. He was airlifted for treatment. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Salties on the Move

Australian officials are warning tourists that saltwater crocodiles are being seen hundreds of kilometers south of their normal habitat, near Karratha. (News source.)


The Spotsylvania County Snake

A classic Dave Barry column here...


Friday, July 6, 2007

Sulcata Found

Joyce the Sulcata tortoise was found by a young driver near the Great Dismal Swamp, who took her home. The family identified her as an African tortoise, and then was alerted to the news coverage of the lost chelonian. Joyce was promptly reunited with her owner. (News source.)


Sukamade Turtle Beach

Indonesia is managing the Sukamade Turtle Beach, where eggs of sea turtles are collected for incubation and rearing in a hatchery, before the young turtles are released into the wild. (News source.)

Labels: ,

West Virginia Gator

A strange animal, claimed by some witnesses to resemble a 6-foot alligator, has been seen in Twelvepole Creek in Wayne Co., WV. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Florida Gator Hunting

Florida Fish and Wildlife are offering classes on alligator hunting in preparation for the upcoming season. (News source with class details.)

Labels: ,

CDC and Turtle-Based Salmonella

The CDC has released a report describing 22 cases of turtle-based salmonellosis in 2006 and 2007. One case involved the fatality of a three-week-old child. Interestingly, the report comes out while an attempt is being made by some legislators to lift the CDC ban on small turtle sales. (News source.)

Labels: , ,

Venom and Race Horses

Cobra venom has been found in the possession of a Kentucky horse trainer. The substance is sometimes used to block pain nerves, but is, obviously, not FDA-approved. Last June two trainers in New York were charged with injecting venom into their horses. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sulcata Lost

Joyce, the African sulcata tortoise, dug out of her fenced backyard in Virginia and wandered off. Someone, not recognizing that Joyce wasn't a native species, picked her off the road in an effort to save her and took her to the Great Dismal Swamp. Joyce's owner has been visiting the swamp to try and retrieve the tortoise. (News source.)


Spadefoot Toads

A Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks officer talks about spadefoot toads here.


Malaysia Hawksbill Program

Malaysia will be releasing 30,000 young hawksbill sea turtles raised from eggs collected along the Malacca coast. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cambodian Snake Harvest

Freshwater snakes in a Cambodian lake, Tonle Sap, are being caught and sold as meat to crocodile farms by the millions. Researchers attest that this yearly capture is unsustainable, and that while it may be impossible to ban the hunting, it should be suspended during the breeding seasons. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Galapagos Tortoise Poaching

Eight shells have been found by Galapagos Island rangers, who believe the tortoises were slaughtered by poachers for meat. Five were young tortoises up to 15 years of age, some of which spent the first several years being reared in captivity. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sea Snakes in India

Chennai, India, fishermen caught a dozen or so sea snakes of various species off the coast of Marina beach. They were given to the Zoological Survey of India; three specimens of a rare species were kept and the rest released. (News source.)


Sweden "Mamba"

A long green snake, about 6 feet in length, has been reported near Eskilstuna, Sweden. "Experts" think it could be a green mamba. (Of course, it could be one of the Asian green ratsnake-like colubrids, also.) (News source.)

Labels: ,

Monday, July 2, 2007

Smuggled Star Tortoises

Malaysia has a loophole in its wildlife laws, apparently, which allows star tortoises, smuggled in from India, to be sold in pet stores. The stores claim they are captive-bred; this is disputed by wildlife officials, but without proof they can't confiscate. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Loggerheads Released

120 Loggerhead hatchlings raised at a NOAA center at Galveston, Texas, have been released back into the wild at two separate locations. They are part of a study to determine the efficacy of turtle excluder devices on shrimp nets. (News source.)

Ozark Hellbender Study

Researchers conclude that a "synergy" of scientific and "illegal pet trade" collecting (emphasis on the illegal pet trade, of course) has created a severe decline in the Ozark hellbender population within the North Fork of Missouri's White River. The subspecies is endangered. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Invading Iguanas

Colonies of feral iguanas are expanding in southern Florida. Their agility and intelligence make them difficult to eradicate. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Deformed Amphibians

Researchers suspect that there are several underlying reasons for frog deformities appearing nationwide. A recent study in New England shows that chemicals are a primary factor, while parasites and attacks by other frog tadpoles in crowded conditions may contribute elsewhere. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Problems for Lonesome George

While a genetic survey is being attempted to locate a possible mate for the only remaining Pinta Island Galapagos tortoise, it may be moot. Some keepers and biologists note that Lonesome George has not shown much interest in mating in the past, and may not know how. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Zoo Croc Eric Dies

Eric, the 60-year-old 5-meter crocodile exhibited at the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford, Australia, died from an infection exacerbated by problems due to recent storms. A feisty crocodile, Eric had killed females intended for mating and lost a rear leg in a dual with another male. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canadian Snakebites

Three western rattlesnake bites have been treated this year at the South Okanagan General Hospital. Two were dry bites, the third was full envenomation. Hikers are being warned to be careful. (New source.)

Labels: ,

Reptiland Program

Clyde Peeling's Reptiland (Pennsylvania) has a program, Venom, educating the public about venomous species. (News source.)


Illinois Mystery Snake Still a Mystery

The large light-colored snake seen at Lake Springfield still hasn't been confirmed or identified. (News source.)


Timber Rattlers in Pennsylvania

PA Fish & Boat has individuals looking for timber rattlesnakes for their Timber Rattlesnake Den Assessment program. A columnist accompanies a search to Luzerne County here.

Labels: ,

A Life with Snakes

At 84 years old, now in a Wellsville, New York, retirement home, Norman Ives is no longer able to collect snakes, but he has plenty of stories to share. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Bristol Snake Still on Loose

The large snake believed loose in a Philadelphia borough hasn't been captured yet, though sightings still occur. The Texas snake-catcher noted they are not that easy to capture. (News source.)

Labels: ,

Indian Coppersmith Snake Art

In Gudbhelipadar, India, over forty families of the Maharana caste subsist on the copper snakes they create and sold in various parts of the country. Cost of goods is rising, though, and they are looking for help to make better profits. (News source.)

Labels: ,