Just a little vent.

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Just a little vent.

Post by Lt.Mike »

Time to the vent... :roll:
Sorry sometimes I've just feel like hollering.
Watching north woods law on animal planet this morning and the description shows a python encountered ... in Maine, really?
Ok there it is, its dead, beat up by he resident but its soooo easy to see its a milk snake. The game warden thinks its a python too (?). Eventually after catching it and showing it to a biologist its Id'd as a milk snake. Why did it take a biologist to make the ID???
A golden opportunity was lost to educate the family that killed the snake that it was harmless and beneficial. I have no doubt that any more "pythons" they encounter will be killed.
This really hit a nerve because I see it over and over again. Is there any possibility that a game warden may be required to actually be able to identify the animals in his charge? I mean beyond deer, moose and the other animals that most children can ID from watching a Disney movie.
Do get me wrong you guys and gals have a difficult job enforcing the law but in being a ranger or game warden there is more.
People may actually ask a animal related question and expect you to know something more than they do about the animal.
If your a ranger and you know what you should about the woods and animals around you then this isn't directed to you.
If not I'd suggest picking up a Peterson's field guide and thumbing through it, then keep it handy for reference when called for.
Its an example others will benefit from.
Better yet take a day to enter the field with a group on a herp trip or with birders on an outing. You should be on par with the knowledge these people have so that when you encounter someone that looks to you for guidance you can teach and encourage rather than add to the level of ignorance the largest percentage of the public have when it comes to the wild world.
Did I tick you off? Maybe motivate?
Vent concluded. ;)

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Re: Just a little vent.

Post by Krokadilyanguy3 »

I know the post is old, but I literally just saw this episode a couple days ago.

I had the same feelings you did, especially when why wouldn't you know your local snakes when you only have nine and all which are easily identifiable.
But, if their department is anything like Florida's then they aren't nothing more than Officers (mostly hunters) citing law breakers. I worked closely within and most of them couldn't tell you one snake from another (or many other animals for that matter) and basically treated all snakes as venomous. Most snakes were killed by many Officers unless I was able to make it out to the report. The old time Officers actually dislike what the new Departments become, its more about Politics than it is about wildlife like it use to be.

Ironically, I was called out to a python call in Levy County by a couple Officers and once I got there, not a single one could be found. The Officers, I found the python and was able to find him a good home.

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