My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Network

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Zach_Lim
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My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Network

Post by Zach_Lim » February 2nd, 2016, 3:10 pm

Hey everyone,

To begin, I sought the advice of a good friend on the Forum in regards to me making this post. I was very concerned with how the herping community would perceive me or my involvement with this video, as I know publicizing field herping is a gray area. Before agreeing to do this short segment, I made very clear that 1. No locations would be revealed 2. No sensitive areas or habitat would be visited 3. Not much specific information about herping would be revealed.

This is an episode of Breaking Trail, a wildlife education show aimed at a younger audience in hopes of promoting conservation and general wonder of animals. Reminded me of Crocodile Hunter or Jeff Crowin to a degree.



All in all, I feel that I met these important criteria. The social media response has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. However, a few people were not too happy with my involvement, stating that I was giving out too much information or doing it for fame or exploiting herps.

Maybe I am making this sound way more dramatic or "bad" than it is.

Anyhow, enjoy.

Zach

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by El Garia » February 2nd, 2016, 3:25 pm

Should I mention the hickey on your neck, first, or should I point out that you high-fived a guy with Poison Oak on his hands? :twisted:

Actually, I should mention that you come across extremely well on camera. Nice stuff, Zach! :beer:

Derek

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Fieldnotes » February 2nd, 2016, 6:51 pm

Pretty cool. Those "few people" you mentioned must be pulling your leg or just extremely jealous of your blockbuster stardom. I didn't notice anything to be concerned about, but please, do let me know if everyone starts partying at that rock with a fissure in it. :beer:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Calfirecap » February 2nd, 2016, 8:00 pm

I liked it Zach, and yes you came across very well. Maybe next time they could film one of our NAFHA surveys and show how cover objects are replaced as found along with a promo for the Data Base and citizen science. You would just have to ask him to axe the Rattlesnake handling footage.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by SurfinHerp » February 2nd, 2016, 11:42 pm

Well done Zach - thanks for sharing it here :beer:

I was wondering why the host made a dive for the kingsnake, but then he explained that it was bolting towards the outcrop, so it made sense. If that wasn't staged, I'm impressed by his quick reaction.

I'd like to see you do more segments like that for Discovery. You have an excellent camera presence. Hope you do the spring time snake hunt this year like you guys mentioned. I'd suggest wearing a bit more protective clothing though (like leather gloves and long sleeves maybe), just to set a good example for kids.

Cheers,

Jeff

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 3rd, 2016, 3:36 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: That is probably the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life! At least when it comes to field herping vids :lol: Nice. The whole kingsnake/poison oak catch sequence and talk afterwards is great. Cool stuff :thumb: Ya know, I actually came across a couple of your vids on youtube tward the end of last yr I think... you walkin a rubber boa, z, and some ringneck. Your commentary in those vids seemed to have given some unseen preparation for this. I can see you biting your lip (so to speak) when he mention the black and white colors :lol: probably not an easy pill to swallow for a guy who's fav snake is cal king. I suspect Hubbs will be around soon to give you a ration of Sheet for not speaking up. :P That dude was cool tho! I dig the clear upclose footage and the way it was filmed (angles, lighting,ect...) I want dudes hat! :thumb: :thumb: :beer:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 3rd, 2016, 4:21 am

Calfirecap wrote:Maybe next time they could film one of our NAFHA surveys and show how cover objects are replaced as found along with a promo for the Data Base and citizen science. You would just have to ask him to axe the Rattlesnake handling footage.
AGREED!! If we can use this for a spot to bring awareness to the public that would be the best thing to come of it. A filmed survey and explanation of protective native grasses, plants, burrowing owls, ect... feral cats and the importance of neutering and spays... and how the enclosed area gives them a refuge from farming tractors. That would be something I 'd like to see in my home town :thumb: a filmed display of a gopher rattling his tail and a pattern comparison.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Zach_Lim » February 3rd, 2016, 11:44 am

Thank you, all of you guys, for the kind words and for the reassurance that nothing too specific was revealed. Who would have known the California Kingsnakes are found in California. Furthermore, judging by NAHERP records, field guides, other resources, such as California Herps and even park brochures and visitor centers, county level information (very broad!) is an okay thing to mention.

As much as I prefer hands off, Attenborough style documentaries, kids and younger people tend to enjoy the "Croc Hunter" style approach of actually finding and holding an animal to show and educate about.

I do wish that clips of handling venomous species (rattlesnake) were used less in modern animal shows, but i guess it is part of the whole "spectacle".

I will try to pitch the idea of a citizen science, data collecting/database topic. I firmly believe that everyone who is interested in nature can do their part-especially if they are shown how to in an ethical approach.

I know that criticism is a huge part in the public eye, just wish some of these critics would take a look at these comments and see that things are, for the most part, okay.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Steve Bledsoe » February 3rd, 2016, 1:15 pm

Very nice job Zach. :thumb:

Regarding the critics: Some people aren't happy unless they're criticizing someone else's work, and the happiest critics seem to be those who criticize things they know nothing about! No matter what you do, there will always be critics.

Regarding the handling of the animals: As long as a series of videos is being made for mass media, such as TV, I don't see the handling part going away. For those very few of us who know reptiles and study them, the handling isn't necessary to make the piece interesting. But, for the rest of the world, it seems like the more "dangerous" the situation seems, the better for a viewership. I hated the antics of Steve Irwin, but obviously lots of non-herp people loved him for it. Such is life in the world of entertainment. I don't think you need to worry about it.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by KichiMark » February 3rd, 2016, 2:46 pm

Awesome job Zach. I just saw it on youtube without checking this site since it comes on my feed and I must say you did an excellent job. I really enjoy watching he BW videos and believe the whole idea is a good step in the right direction.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Steve Bledsoe » February 3rd, 2016, 2:57 pm

Just a note -
The link to Zach's video seems to come and go for me. Most of the time when I open this thread, it isn't there on his original post and I can't figure out how to bring it up. Other times, it's there when I open the thread. Strange.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 3rd, 2016, 5:08 pm

Zach_Lim wrote:
As much as I prefer hands off, Attenborough style documentaries, kids and younger people tend to enjoy the "Croc Hunter" style approach of actually finding and holding an animal to show and educate about
True! But, it also thins out some of the mist of illusion that these animals (Snakes) are evil and all dangerous. You have to remember the majority of the public and viewers parents just see a snake... and all snakes are dangerous and better off dead. This os just an Introductory into the world of snakes. For instance, calling a kingsnake black and white is more than enough info for a show like that (gotta keep it simple). The big message is that encounters with rattlesnakes dont have to end in a fatality (person or snake) In fact, even the common average hiker feels obligated to behead a rattler if they come across it on the trail. Like its good samaritan practice and a courtesy thing. in fact, last time I herped the Bay Area I was looking for horned lizards on the ground so I don't step on them... And I came across a rattlesnakes head in the middle of the trail. Coming from a stand point where my videos were intended to dissolve some of this fear, I can see the benefit of the rattler handling and showing that it can be done safely without casualties. I don't think it should be promoted on a field herping website as safe or smart practice! I've always been about bridging the gap. Thats what the shows about. And we all know, especially on a hot day with little snake activity and a deadline to meet a show subject, especially on a hot day with little snack activity and a deadline to meet a show subject, that if you want to get good photos of a snake a lot of times you have to catch it. only the most experienced field herpers have the skill to quietly approach a snake without startling it for a good In situ. if he didn't grab that rattler it would have escaped into the outcrop just like the California kingsnake... Same thing with his grab on the aquatic garter. We have to remember that field herpers are a very small percentage of the world and the big picture is keeping it simple. And yes, the Steve Irwin Chronicles needed the excitement and enthusiasm to keep attention on a commonly overlooked and misunderstood and hated animal species. It's funny, you know when I was a kid Steve Irwin was funny as hell like I had never seen anyone so dorky lol but then as I got older I realized why he overacted and exaggerated everything. his audience was only a small percentage of reptile people. or rather his intended audience. he wasn't making the show for herpetologist and snake breeders he was making it for kids. extending a larger group of reptile People. I'm sure that when Steve caught a snake by himself or even the guy from the show catches a snake by himself they aren't as overly animated as they have to be to sell and keep the attention of the viewer. not only does the guy have to know how to catch a snake but he has to also know how to talk to the public people who hate and are scared of snakes... I imagine it must be a tough balance of priorities

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Steve Bledsoe » February 3rd, 2016, 5:17 pm

Porter wrote: ..... he wasn't making the show for herpetologist and snake breeders he was making it for kids.

And setting a very bad example for them too, unfortunately. :(

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 3rd, 2016, 5:22 pm

Steve Bledsoe wrote:
Porter wrote: ..... he wasn't making the show for herpetologist and snake breeders he was making it for kids.

And setting a very bad example for them too, unfortunately. :(
Agreed! and with all due respect to Steve Irwin. the way his life ended has become somewhat of a lesson about showing these animals the proper respect they deserve. his legacy has become a timeless lesson and reminder of the existing danger with certain species.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by RobertH » February 3rd, 2016, 8:49 pm

Great Job Zach :thumb:
I like Coyote Petersons videos a lot. BUT, that is not to say I don't love David Attenborough documentaries. In fact I just watched a few today. I prefer hands off educational documentaries/videos because because it shows the animals natural behavior. I find the Austin Stevens and Crocodile hunter style of dramatizing a six inch corn snake annoying. Although, in my age group that is probably the best way to educate them. :oops: Way to go Zach.

Nicholas

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 3rd, 2016, 9:26 pm

Ok, so I watched a few more of this guy's vids. I now see that he has done several episodes relating to reptiles and field herping... Even an episode on night cruising. It seems that Zach is the only guest to appear in the episodes or at least the ones I watched. seems like he has his own crew of snake hunters which are the cameramen. Unless it's that easy to cruise a coral snake and cottonmouth... Idk So, now I understand what Zach original concern is about these haters or whatever is going on I don't even know... I personally have known where Zack find his Mountain King for the last 4 years or so but have never attempted to go there for photos. not being a mountain kingsnake person, I'm not sure how rare of a find they are in San Mateo but I can see the concern now... That not only if it is giving exposure to collectors in California but he's taking a snake crew from the East Coast directly to Sonata locations. Are the dudes on the level? Or are they out for money? are they breeders and collectors? are they filled her purse? Where are they guys just grab them cameras and going and looking for snakes destroying habitat? I guess this is the biggest concern with a collaboration such as this... this is why I stick to finding hybridorths lol

oh also I wanted to say I meant no disrespect by calling that melanistic ish sf garter an aquatic garter. I'm just hoping someone will read the way I talk and explain to me on my Hybrid theory post in scientific fact why California king snakes have the same DNA banding pattern as Zanda in a habitat of high morphism, brackish waters, and old roaming grounds of zonata until they were all collected except for the few strongholds people weren't able to get to until now due to expansion of homing development... Hint hint cough cough ;) don't deny the truth folks. the dawning of enlightenment of the true essence of species diversity is upon us (Sound dramatic enough? :roll: )

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Zach_Lim » February 3rd, 2016, 11:58 pm

Porter,

I appreciate your enthusiasm and initial positivity and kind words, but you lost me in your last reply. I figured you were writing in a sort of stream of consciousness, so excuse me if I am wrong.

The concern is not wether the film crew (two people, host and camera man- they film everything with only them two) will return or poach, or destroy habitat, etc. these guys are film makers who are making a show and have no particular interest in one animal (let's say zonata) over the other- they film animals from all over the spectrum- from snakes, to rare lizards, manatees, pine martens, hell, even bears.

The existing concern is that 1. Did saying San Mateo County give too much information to the general viewer on where to find snakes. 2. Is showing a rock with a fissure in it too much information that will allow viewers to pin point the location.

I am arguing that no, these two items are not enough to allow people to find out where to find any given snake. A viewer of the east coast , middle America, or even Southern California or even in San Francisco can probably Google San Mateo county and "Kingsnake" and will probably not find said location.
- I believe both Derek and Will F. eluded to these facts that no, there is no discernible landmarks or information to divulge localities.

My concern is in the macro level- that is, the concern of some critics as well, are of the whole picture. Does stating county lead to locality divulging. My argument is that databases, field guides, and even brochures at parks state counties all the time with no adverse effect.

I think you are looking at this at the
More immediate, micro level in which this film crew would directly come back and tear up the place. That will not happen, knowing how they run their business and show.

Just trying to clear any miscommunications.

Zach

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » February 4th, 2016, 12:55 am

Cool. One of the vids I watched was on common snapping turtles where the guy mentions as he pulls one snapper out of the muck, "Oh, this is a new one!! I've never seen this one before..." So, I figured he was a field herper and that (spot sharing) seems to be a serious issue among field herpers.

The other malarkey is me just trying to get to the bottom of what causes a morph and the dispersity of colubrids and their mating compatibility between separate subspecies and species. I've been throwing a hook n line out there on a couple other posts trying to get people to discuss it but everyone's too scared :lol: I thought the video was cool all in all. I saw the guy take a solifugid bite... he has my respect :shock: :o :lol:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Zach_Lim » February 4th, 2016, 7:18 am

If you look into his shows, he collects info on snapping turtles for a few of the same areas in his gone area of Ohio. So he is running into the same ones

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by mattg » February 5th, 2016, 9:17 pm

Very Cool Zach!

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by LouB747 » February 7th, 2016, 12:58 pm

Good stuff Zack. This guy, Coyote Peterson, really branded himself well and has quite a large following.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by hellihooks » February 8th, 2016, 7:53 am


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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Kelly Mc » February 9th, 2016, 11:30 am

Zack you have that It Factor..Handsome, articulate, warm.

You Rock, and you really do. Its an incendiary combo!

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Ross Padilla » February 15th, 2016, 11:09 am

That is awesome, Zach. :thumb:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » March 30th, 2016, 10:00 am

Okay, so... I caught wind of a portion of this video where this guy is handling red-legged frog eggs and calling them newt eggs. in all honesty, I wouldn't have been able to ID the eggs either without a visual reference. the red-legged frogs I've seen are far from my dwelling grounds and I've only seen Sierra and eggs that I I'm familiar with. this has upset some people who care about protected species. especially protected species in these last remaining hidden pools...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1h_qwgHM3dg


I fear that something else other than Miss identification and illegal handling may be going on here... I know the host of The Show Goes to different habitats and I'm not pointing the finger or accusing him of anything that I certainly don't know he has done... No assumptions... But comma I hope he has Ben changing his boots or bleach washing them before going from one state to the next for these episodes. shoelaces and all. because if he's doing an episode on snakes, he might not have prepared his boots before stepping in this threatened last remaining pool of habitat... He may be spreading parasites or other Kittredge like diseases... I really think it's important that one of us inform him about proper procedures of entering different habitats that contain water. if he cannot identify frog vs newt eggs, He may not know the danger he could be inflicting.

Zack, since you are or seem to be the only field Herbert in association with his episodes... would you contact him in a friendly manner and notify him about the red legged frog eggs and that he should not be wearing the same boots into those pools that he is pulling the Snapping Turtles out of. I think if you talk to him yourself comma he won't disregard it as hate mail.

on a side note, I think this is a hell of a scream through the microphone to the herping world of the dangers of being involved with shows like this. there are different intentions that can turned out to have serious impact on these little critters... we have to put the animals first!!! there are a lot of different agendas circulating this issue... Some people are searching Fame comma some people are trying to contribute to awareness comma and others are simply just trying to help out someone who can't find snakes on their own... I think this is a serious subject and any newbies out there who don't have extensive information on species need to really consider what they're getting into and what kind of threat they are posing when getting involved in shows such as this...

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by ricrabt » March 30th, 2016, 10:45 am

Hey Zach, I thought the video was awesome. I don't know what other stuff this guy has done, but you sounded great and all in all it was very informative. ...great job!!! :thumb:


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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Zach_Lim » March 31st, 2016, 8:14 am

In the Mohave desert now so sporadic reception. Thanks for he information porter. I will email him when I get back home tonight about Herp health/field protocol as I believe it is important and crucial as well. Furthermore, I was not present when he touched eggs (off lookin for critters or something I don't recall) but yes, had no idea that happened. I only helped out
Two times on show and probably won't be doing so again or at least some time (he rarely comes out this way I think?).

He has a full time biologist/wildlife biologist on his other trips.

Thanks

Zach

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » April 1st, 2016, 7:36 am

Good man! :thumb: I think youre making the right choice
:beer:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Brian Hubbs » April 2nd, 2016, 3:46 pm

Totally didn't see this when it was posted...and I did not read all the comments, so this might be redundant, but I see no harm in showing rock cracks in the dead of summer when NOTHING will be in them... :lol:

And, if i know these types of shows...that king was brought along for the catch, and so was the SC Garter... :lol: I was not really able to see if that bush was actually poison oak, but from what I could see it didn't look like it...

Other than all that...it was fun to watch... :thumb:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by dave_zeldin » May 3rd, 2016, 11:05 am

Zach,

First off, I think it's great. You did a great job not giving too much information. I've always felt that telling people what county a herp was found in is a great way to answer that question we always get asked..."where did you find that". The only people that may recognize that area by that outcrop are people that already know about it. There is no way someone will find that spot simply by watching that video.

Second, don't let the negativity get to you man. I've learned that there are just some people that take this way too seriously. As long as you are being safe and not giving out sensitive information, then no harm has been caused. Keep doing your thing. I think the majority of us here support your decision to do what you did.
:beer:

-Dave Zeldin

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by hellihooks » May 3rd, 2016, 3:13 pm

dave_zeldin wrote:Zach,

I saw this video posted on Facebook by one of your old friends (not going to name drop) a while back. He was one of the people that were extremely upset about this and did not hesitate to voice this over social media.

First off, I think it's great. You did a great job not giving too much information. I've always felt that telling people what county a herp was found in is a great way to answer that question we always get asked..."where did you find that". The only people that may recognize that area by that outcrop are people that already know about it. There is no way someone will find that spot simply by watching that video.

Second, don't let the negativity get to you man. I've learned that there are just some people that take this way too seriously. As long as you are being safe and not giving out sensitive information, then no harm has been caused. Keep doing your thing. I think the majority of us here support your decision to do what you did.
:beer:

-Dave Zeldin
:thumb:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » May 4th, 2016, 11:58 am

*

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Porter » May 4th, 2016, 12:07 pm

I lile turtles

-Richard

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by hellihooks » May 4th, 2016, 3:56 pm

I now know way more about you, than (i'm pretty sure) I ever wanted too... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Zach_Lim » May 4th, 2016, 4:02 pm

Thanks for the pep talk (I think?), Porter, but you might want to tone it down with the personal stories of yourself, as this is a public space that anyone can read. Also, it would be more
Productive if there was no reiteration (especially if it may not be the most accurate) of another person's experience here on the forum or in their own life. Just my two cents.

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Re: My California Kingsnake segment on Discovery Digital Net

Post by Southwest wanderer » May 7th, 2016, 2:03 pm

Good job Zach! I enjoyed the clip. You have a nice style behind the camera; calm, reserved, less crazed. I like that you slipped in comments about putting boards and logs and stuff back into it's same position before flipped. Thumbs up!

J9

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