Herper.com: Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Monday, June 30, 2008

Snakebite News

A California woman bitten by a rattlesnake ended up waiting in an emergency room for three hours as antivenom was delivered from another hospital. A discussion of the events here.

Four snakebites are reported from Israel. (News source.)

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lizard Study

Info on a study of collared and long-nosed leopard lizards in Colorado here...

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Iguanas vs Boca

Boca Raton is trying to get FL F&W to add iguanas to the restricted "reptiles of concern" list. (News source.)

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Pet Shop Thief Arrested

A former pet shop employee was arrested for stealing several high-dollar reticulated python morphs, and trying to sell them to an undercover officer. (News source.)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boreal Toad Anomaly

The boreal toads in Colorado are dying off from the chytrid fungus, but it doesn't seem to be killing the populations in Wyoming or Montana (despite being present). Researchers are investigating the apparent immunity... (News source.)

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Minnesota Sea Turtle Goes Home

A young loggerhead sea turtle anonymously dropped off at the MN Herp. Society several years ago has been raised up at the zoo (among other places) and is now being returned to Florida. (News source.)

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Frogs on the Menu

A Malaysian newspaper reviews the uses of frogs for dining and other cultural resources.

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Rattler Wrangler

An Arizona man who rescues rattlesnakes is profiled here.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dog Fought Copperhead

A dog in Kentucky took a bite from a copperhead that was threatening a visiting teen. (News source.)

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Tenarife Trouble

A mudslide and subsequent rockfall may have killed a number of giant lizards on El Hierro. (News source.)

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Turtle Rehabbing

A profile here on some Louisiana turtle rehabilitators.

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Snake Keeper Passed

A member of the Central FL Herp. Society passed away from lung cancer; the group is trying to find homes for his animals. (News source.)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thai Smuggling

Two wildlife smugglers were caught in Thailand trying to ship out over 1,000 snakes and tortoises to China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. (News source.)

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Turtle Debate

There's some argument over the number of turtles in Georgia (between preservationists and trappers), and the best steps to protect future generations of turtles. (News source.)

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Gator Takes Arm

An 18-year old man lost an arm to an alligator while swimming in an

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Salamander Study

An article here on researchers looking at the endangered Red Hills salamander in Alabama.

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Snake Stories

Some interesting snake stories here from someone in the movie biz. (No guarantee on how true they are.)


Snapper Conservation

90 juvenile alligator snapping turtles were reintroduced into an Oklahoma river. (News source.)

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Crocodilian News

A Texas man tries to find a new home for his 5-foot illegal alligator. (News source.)

China is reporting (for some reason) the sighting of some Chinese alligators in the wild. (News source.)

Two gharials were spotted 30km from the Tata Steel Zoological Park (in India ), where they escaped during flooding. (News source.)

An Australian man was fortunate enough to fight off an attack by a 15-foot saltwater crocodile. (News source.)

Baby Nile crocodiles synchronize their hatching by chattering to each other beforehand. (News source.)

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Manitoba Garters

An article here describing a trip to the Manitoba garter snake dens.

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Croc Park Opening

The $29million Crocosaurus Cove theme park is set to open in July. One attraction will be a 15-minute personal encounter with crocs inside a fiberglass "cage" dropped into the croc tank. (News source.)

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Croc Attack

A Zimbabwe woman fought off a crocodile attack. (News source.)

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Czech Croc Zoo

A crocodile zoo is opening up in Protivin, Czech Republic. (News source.)

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Rattler Bites

A young teenage boy in Washington State was bitten by a rattlesnake while trying to handle it with a stick. (News source.)

And a column here that describes a rattlesnake bite with long-term medical difficulties...

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New Frog

The Southern Sandhill Frog is a new species in Australia, distinguished from the Northern species. (News source.)

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Gator Fiasco

Three Volusia Co., FL, deputies responded to a gator call, decided to jump the 8-foot gator, and one got bit badly. So, another deputy shot it. The deputies have been reprimanded. (News source.)

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Snake Park

The Nairobi Snake Park in Kenya is undergoing renovations with plans to reopen in six months. (News source.)

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Antivenom Paper

Noted on Venom-L, there is a free downloadable (pdf) paper:

The ‘‘Worldwide Shortage’’ of Antisnake Venom: Is the Only Right Answer ‘‘Produce More’’ Or Is It Also ‘‘Use It Smarter?’’

Ian D. Simpson
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 19, 99 107 (2008)

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New York Reptile Rescue Vandalized

A vandal broke cages at a Jordan, NY, reptile rescue, releasing a 14-foot Burmese used in educational programs. The snake is still missing. (News source.) [What I'm not sure about is why the reptile rescue thinks they were just released and not stolen...]

Update: The python has been found... (New source.)

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Sea Turtle Tourism Success

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island has attracted more than 120,000 visitors in a single year. (News source.)

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Adder Bite

A teenage girl holidaying in Wales with her family was bitten by an adder and hospitalized. (News source.)

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California Field Herping

A California man wrote into a columnist to talk about his hobby: going out into the field, catching rattlesnakes, and collecting data (before releasing snakes unharmed). He's caught over 1275 rattlers over 16 years. (News source.)

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Turtle Egg Smuggling

Brunei Customs confiscated 8500 turtle eggs that were being smuggled into the country. (News source.)

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35,000 Cobras

An Indian man says he has 35,000 cobras on his 3.5 acre snake farm. He collects nuisance snakes, and milks them for venom for a local college. (News source.)

Oddly, he claims to feed them prawns...

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Utah DWR Kills Snakes

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources took such poor care of 65 rubber boas confiscated for alleged unlawful possession (actually based on a minor paperwork detail that is meant for livestock, trumped up when they found their original charges were baseless), that all but 3 died. The snakes' owner is suing, but hard to say if he'll get anywhere. (News source.)

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Copperhead Bite

A Massachusetts man was bitten by a venomous snake while out in the woods near Springfield, MA. He thinks it was a copperhead. He's a snake enthusiast who was grabbing for a garter snake under a rock when he got tagged by a larger snake. (News source.)

Because copperheads (and timbers) are rare in the state, a DNR biologist stated: "'It would be surprising to find either of the venomous snakes of Massachusetts (the Northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake) in Chicopee.
"'It's a fairly developed town and it's some distance from the nearest known locations of those venomous snakes. They're typically found in remote mountainous areas' within the valley, he said.
"'I've heard that most of the bites from venomous snakes are from captive animals. So it's possible this could be a captive animal that escaped or that was otherwise set free,' Jackson said."

Apparently, baseless rumors are "good science" with the MA DNR. (For the record, most bites from venomous snakes involve drunk men playing with snakes, wild or captive. It's not "captivity" that makes snakes more prone to bite; quite often, they're more docile than wild snakes.)

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Mexican Croc Attack

An Irishman was attacked by a crocodile while vacationing at the Nichupte lagoon near Cancun, Mexico. (News source.)

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Big Rattlesnake

A Florida woman found a 6-foot eastern diamondback in her back yard. (News source.) Nobody got bit, but there's a strange quote from a neighbor: "'It looks like someone let their snake go,' said Jonathan Papenfuss, Larson’s neighbor. 'But, I mean, if it was growing up around here, there is construction down the road so that's been stirring up some wildlife on the side where they're tearing the trees up. So if they're tearing up their nests, that's probably why it came over here.'" Apparently, people just don't know what's in their own backyards, and have to blame the pet industry.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Croc Bites Cambodian "Croc Hunter"

A teenage Cambodian boy tried to capture a crocodile that escaped from a local croc farm, and ended up hospitalized with 25 stitches. The croc remains loose. (News source.)

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Crocs in the News

A Malaysian man was killed by a crocodile on a tributary of the Batang Lupar. (News source.)

In India, a gharial was hatched out with a significant defect: no tail. The article speculates that it may be linked to a suspected toxin responsible for the recent gharial deaths. (News source.)

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Australian Keeper Bit

A Melbourne snake breeder was bitten by a juvenile death adder, but was back from the hospital in 24 hours. (News source.)

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Leatherbacks on Padre Island

For the first time in 70 years, it looks like a leatherback turtle has laid eggs on Padre Island (TX). (News source.)

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Bipedal Lizards

A study here shows that bipedalism in lizards is based on the reptile shifting its center of gravity during acceleration...

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Toad Weapon

Alarm chemicals might be the next weapon against the invasive cane toad in Australia... (News source.)

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Massasauga Hunter

Pennsylvania surveys for the eastern massasauga... (News source.)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Snake Reported

Apparently, a 6-8 foot "python" was reported from Lake Sinclair, near Baldwin, Georgia. No sightings have followed, according to GA DNR. Of course, in that size range, it's just as likely to be a misidentified and exaggerated watersnake. (News source.)

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More Snakebite News

A 3-year old California girl was bitten on the foot by a 9-inch long rattlesnake. (News source.)

An Inglewood, California, man was bitten by a rattlesnake when he picked it up, mistaking it for a nonvenomous species. (News source.)

A 15-year old Texas boy was bitten by a probably nonvenomous snake, but was sent to the hospital after complaining of discomfort from the bite. (News source.)

A Greenville, South Carolina, hospital has had 9 snake bites the past month, triple the usual number in a typical month. (News source.)

In Israel, a migrant worker was bitten by a snake near Tel Aviv, and other bites have been documented recently. (News source.)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More on Snakebites

An Australian man is stable after being bitten by a snake (unknown species.) (News source.)

The previously mentioned Orlando, Fl, snakebite was a resort employee bitten by an eastern diamondback as he attempted to move it from the grounds. (News source.)

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Snake Bites

An individual staying at the Sheraton Vistana Village resort in Orlando, FL, was bitten by a rattlesnake. (News source.)

And Thai police are scratching their heads over a strange cobra bite fatality...

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Lake Erie Watersnakes Recover

20 years ago, there were only 1200 adult snakes, now there are about 12,000. The recovery of the Lake Erie watersnake means it will probably be taken off USFWS threatened species status, though I suspect Ohio will keep it state-protected. (News source.)

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Wrong Croc

Malaysian wildlife officers killed a 6meter long crocodile in an attempt to find the one that killed a young man last week. No remains were found in the stomach, though, so they believe they got the wrong crocodile and will continue looking for it. (News source.)

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Scuba Divers vs Komodo

5 stranded European scuba divers on a small remote Indonesian island had to fend off an aggressive Komodo before help arrived. (News source.)


Saturday, June 7, 2008

SC Crocodile

A small (6-foot) American crocodile was caught in the surf off Isle of Palms. It's unknown whether it is a released animal or just swam a long way from the Everglades. (News source.)

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Kuwait Gets Reptile Museum

Three young men in Kuwait have started a reptile museum, housed at the Aqua Park. They have 600 live animals, though not all are on display. (News source.)

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Smuggling INTO Indonesia

Most smuggling of snakes involving the US means the reptiles are heading into the country, but a package of six boas was confiscated when it was sent to Indonesia. The boas included several high-dollar morphs. The smuggling was wrong, no doubt, but whoever (the wildlife officers or the newspaper) is saying the animals are "endangered" clearly has no clue. (News source.)

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A Bangladesh housewife died from a snake bite (unidentified species). (News source.)

An Israeli man died after being bitten on the face by a snake. The species isn't identified, but the article notes that it is a rare species. (News source.)

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Friday, June 6, 2008

TN Arrest

A Tennessee pet shop owner was arrested for holding several venomous snakes with intent to sell them (illegal in that state). (News source.)

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Alabama Snakebites

From Alabama: "Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital has reported treating five venomous snake bites in the last three weeks." (News source.)

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MD: OOP Gator

A small alligator was fished out of an Anne Arundel Co. golf course pond. (News source.)

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The introduced black spiny-tail iguanas in southern Florida are getting smaller, and harder to catch. (News source.)

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Alaskan Rubber Boa

A biologist with F&G in Alaska retrieved a juvenile rubber boa found in an Eagle River garage, then lost it overnight from a terrarium. Where it came from is unknown. (News source.)

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Amphibian News

Researchers are investigating how toads use their muscles to quickly snatch insects with their tongue. (News source.)

More tests show that probiotic bacteria may help frogs fight skin diseases. (News source.)

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Chelonian News

168 smuggled tortoises were seized by police in Bihar, India. (News source.)

16 sea turtles were rehabilitated and released here.

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Croc Issues

Crocodiles are dying at Kruger National Park, investigations underway. (News source.)

Cane toads are killing freshwater crocs in Australia. (News source.)

A dog that survived a gator attack died from bite-related infections. (News source.)

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

UAE: Big Snake Sighted

A "mysterious" big snake was reported in the Gulf News. Appears to be a large specimen (with accompanying exaggeration?) of the native Psammophis schokari.

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Turtle Release

Captive-reared northern red-bellied cooters were released into Massachusetts waters in a "head-start" program for the endangered subspecies. (News source.)

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Zambia Crocodile Attack

A six-year old girl in Zambia was killed by a crocodile while she was drawing water from the lake. (News source.)

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Crocodiles in the New

Nesting season in India leads to aggressive crocs... (News source.)

An interesting pic, a saltwater croc munching on a pig-nosed turtle in Kakadu. (News source.)

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Snakebite News

A Wisconsin man claims he was bitten by a (probably timber) rattlesnake. (News source.)

A 2-year old Georgia boy was bitten by a copperhead. (News source.)

Coral snakes are on the move in Texas due to lack of water... (News source.)

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gator Politics in NC

A fight is brewing in North Carolina, between the police force in Leland and state wildlife officials, over the shooting of an 11-foot gator that was blocking a road. The police claim they had no alternative, that wildlife officers didn't bother to arrive before the next morning. A NC WRC officer says they weren't called until after the gator was dead, and the shooting was illegal... (News source.)

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Cottonmouth Bite (?)

A news article here on venomous snakes in Virginia, with note on an alleged cottonmouth bite. (News source.)

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More on Turtle Egg Poaching

Malaysian officials are increasing patrols after 4000 sea turtle eggs were poached from nesting sites along the coast. (News source.)

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