1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

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Noah M
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1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by Noah M » May 30th, 2014, 9:09 am

I came across this study at work today, and the results actually surprised me. In a study looking at visitors knowledge and perceptions of black bears in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a survey was given to 500+ people over the course of a summer. One question asked what types of animals should be allowed in National Parks, with 90% of respondents saying native animals. The very next question on the survey asked what snakes, if any, should be in National Parks. Over 50% wanted to eliminate either all snakes or venomous snakes (29% wanted no snakes, and 21.4% wanted only non-venomous ones). :o

Also worth noting was that those with the most knowledge of bears were in favor of having all snakes in National Parks.

Burghardt, Gordon M., Ronald O. Hietala, and Michael R. Pelton. "Knowledge and attitudes concerning black bears by users of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park." Bears: Their Biology and Management (1972): 255-273.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3872589

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Andy Avram
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Re: 1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by Andy Avram » May 30th, 2014, 9:45 am

I can't read the whole study, but what you posted is pretty interesting. I was at GSMNP once and some guy found a copperhead and started shouting. I ran over to it and took pictures of it while the guy kept saying we needed to kill it so it wouldn't kill any children. Eventually I told him I was going to use a tree branch to hook it and let it go in away from the restored cabin and in the woods. He eventually seemed alright with that solution as opposed to killing it. Afterwards he told me, "you just saved some kids life." Whatever...

Anyways,
captainjack0000 wrote:One question asked what types of animals should be allowed in National Parks, with 90% of respondents saying native animals. The very next question on the survey asked what snakes, if any, should be in National Parks. Over 50% wanted to eliminate either all snakes or venomous snakes (29% wanted no snakes, and 21.4% wanted only non-venomous ones).
I get the sense that the average public uses the words "animal" and "mammal" with the same meaning. Everything that is NOT a mammal is also NOT an animal.

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Noah M
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Re: 1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by Noah M » May 30th, 2014, 9:24 pm

Everything that is NOT a mammal is also NOT a mammal.
I'm not sure I know where you are going with this.

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soulsurvivor
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Re: 1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by soulsurvivor » May 31st, 2014, 4:25 am

I think he meant if it's not a mammal, most people don't consider it an ANIMAL. Just a typo.

Interesting (and discouraging) study.

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Andy Avram
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Re: 1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by Andy Avram » May 31st, 2014, 4:38 am

Yes, exactly what Soulsurvivor said.

I fixed it.

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: 1970s Study Shows People Don't Like Snakes

Post by The Real Snake Man » May 31st, 2014, 5:18 am

The study really is interesting, but it sounds like something from The Onion!

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