janesy wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:40 am
grouse wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:23 am
Anyway, for some reason (unknown to me) this seems to be deteriorating into a political discussion which is not appropriate for this forum and will not accomplish anything. This was never my intention but I apologize for introducing this subject and will try to stay away from areas that people might try to politicize (If there is a way to do that).
Don't stay away. Its a good topic.
Many years ago, back in the late 70's the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department placed a ban on collecting or keeping Greybanded Kingsnakes. Myself and several of my zoo friends had a somewhat large collection of "Lampropeltis alterna", (Greybands), that had been collected in the wild over many years in southwest Texas. Biologist with TPWD had "determined" that the species was "endangered" due to non-specific locality records of animals, and that the scale color and pattern of different snakes showed they were not a single species but a multiple number of species unlike what was claimed by private collectors, breeders and Zoo's.
TPWD immediately issued a decree stating "the keeping of any and all Lampropeltis alterna was henceforth illegal, subject to confiscation and fines levied by the State". Only Zoo's with "approved" permits issued by TPWD would be allowed to posses, keep or breed said reptile.
Needless to say this did NOT sit well with me, or my friends. Several of us Law Enforcement personnel. Who had spent years breeding this species.
Others simply handed over their "endangered species" to TPWD who euthanized them and "preserved them" so they could be studied. TPWD did this by the HUNDREDS. (Science at work)
Cooler heads prevailed. We were able to PROVE to TPWD that they were wrong. Lampropeltis alterna is a diverse and locality color specific animal, but in no way endangered. Simply things as head scale counts, ventral scale counts, and maxillary counts proved these to ALL be the same species.
The ban was lifted, but hundreds if not 1000's of reptiles were destroyed in the name of science in the 4 year period.
I say all of this just to say, sometimes you have to get out of the lab in order too see what actually occurs in nature. I have now spent over 40 years keeping and breeding exotic reptiles. And I learn something new about them all the time. I have actually had Game Wardens come to my house and ask, "What is this..."
My grandkids say I'm a "pretty neat guy". I keep snakes, collect Native American artifacts, and have even worked on the Southern Mammoth dig in Waco.
Needless to say, I don't sit behind a desk.
Never remain silent. Dialogue is how we learn.