Wow! It has been cold but the snow has been beautiful. When I look out my window and see the snow, it inspires me in many ways. It makes me feel like reading a good book or exercising and writing. Of course as a snake trapper it is my off season during the winter. But I am looking forward to snake season 2012 that isn't that far way.
This is the second series of answering some of your email questions and I want to thank you for sending your questions and comments. I truly welcome them each day.
1. Have you ever taken your snakes to a Frederick County school to show them to students and educate them about snakes? If so what types of snakes have you shown?
Yes, I have done this a few times. I found this to be so enjoyable and the students seemed to really enjoy this, too. I have taken Zeus, a gorgeous 13-foot Burmese Python; Majestic, a 10-foot reticulated python; Shania, an 8-foot Red Tail Boa; along with my corn snakes, black-rat snakes and Ball Pythons.
The children especially loved Zeus, and they had so many questions. I would have had to spend a week their answering all their questions. I really enjoyed sharing the importance of not only educating the students about pet snakes, but to also discuss our native Maryland species as well. I would also encourage the students to get out and enjoy nature and to always respect our native snakes and wildlife. I also told them to never attempt to approach any kind of wild animals, but to instead take a picture or write about the animals they have observed.
2. What is actually a snake trapper?
As a licensed Maryland snake trapper, I work for myself, which is normal for most trappers, regardless of their area of specialty. I typically spend my time going to a residence or commercial property, talking to the client about his or her snake issue, conduct inspections of the client's property inside and out, and setting humane traps. I do not kill any animal nor do I use glue traps. There is more to what I do but I will discuss that in more detail later. But, I am highly trained in this field and licensed. Snake trappers need to know exactly what they're doing because there is never room for error.
3. Do you rescue snakes?
There are times I have been contacted about a snake needing a home. I have done what I can to help with the situation. My heart is especially deep when it is a very sick or dangerous snake that a person should not have. A lot of people are very caring and understand how to properly care for such animals, but some do not and that is where I come in.
4. Have you ever considered writing a book about snakes?
Well, at times I have thought about it. There are so many subjects in this area to write about, and it is something I may consider doing in the future.
5. Have you ever been bitten?
Yes, I have but luckily the bites I have received from poisonous species have been dry. There have been very close calls, though, and I have been extremely lucky, and it could still happen to anyone, regardless of how much experience he or she has. But I am as cautions as possible as there is never room for error in this field.
As always get out and enjoy nature during the winter, whether you're taking a hike, walking, running or riding a bike.
Tammy McCormack is a Maryland licensed snake trapper. She writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.