Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Austin Reptile Expo this weekend

The 12th Austin Reptile Expo is this weekend, May 29th and 30th at Dell Diamond. Interested in going? The details are at http://www.austinreptileexpo.com.

More Comments and Questions

We have more comments and questions from Ms. Foux's second grade class. Take a look.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh Deer!

This has nothing to do with reptiles, but I thought I'd share anyway. One afternoon last week I stopped by Caraway Elementary and noticed Ms. GW and a few other people standing around her car looking at something underneath. Curious, as always, I went to investigate and discovered that a confused fawn was hiding under the car. After a few calls to local wildlife agencies and animal control, we decided to remove the baby deer. You're probably going to laugh at me, since I catch snakes bare handed, but I wasn't taking any chances with even a fawn. So I borrowed some gloves from a neighbor. Gently I pulled the little deer out. It flailed and cried out, but calmed after a few seconds. We released a few yards away in the woods on the school property where other deer have been sighted. After a few shaky steps, the fawn found its feet and bounded into the bushes.
One thing to note: be cautious around deer! They look all cute and cuddly, but adult deer sometimes attack humans and other animals if they feel threatened. There have even been a few fatal attacks, but these are very rare. You can bet I was keeping an eye out for the little guy's mama!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Science Night Pictures

Here's a pic of Kaylee and Mrs. Foux with Tiny and Titus and a picture of Smaug and me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Science Night

Last Thursday night was Science Night at Caraway Elementary. We were invited to "headline" the event with ongoing reptile programs every half hour throughout the evening. There was a great turnout and several families brought their own exotic pets for all to see. The kids and their families enjoyed a number of fun and informative scientific exhibits including a Native Snakes of Texas exhibit (unfortunately for me, I didn't get to see that one).
We'd like to thank John and Mary Ann Fitch, as well as all our friends at Caraway, for inviting us to present our program!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Texas Rat Snake: A Second Chance

This nice little Texas rat snake was hit by a car yesterday and miraculously survived. I was driving near Spicewood Springs and saw the poor thing trying to cross the street. He was in my lane so I skillfully dodged and whipped into a parking lot. As I jumped out and made for the street I saw another car whiz by and the snake recoil suddenly. It looked as if the car had run him over. Suddenly he started toward the parking lot again. I intercepted him just as he was about to disappear under a parked car. As I picked up the snake I could tell he was disoriented.
I continued on my way holding the snake in my left hand and steering with the right. He was fairly calm and didn't even try to bite, but he seemed to have trouble breathing. His mouth was open and I could see a small string of blood inside. The ocular scale covering his right eye was also slightly damaged and they eye seemed to have suffered some trauma. As I arrived at my destination, he died. Or so I thought. I placed his body in an empty Sonic cup and brought it inside to show my wife. By the time I found her, the snake was moving around again and flicking his tongue. He must have just been terribly stunned or lost consciousness.
It's been over 24 hours and the snake seems to be doing fine. I haven't decided whether to relocate him (he can't go back to the neighborhood where I found him) or keep him to use in my educational programs. I think he'll make at least one show: Science Night at Caraway Elementary is tomorrow night.
This Texas rat snake is about 3 feet long and displays the typical coloration and pattern. They can grow to over 6 feet in length. Temperaments range from fairly docile to very aggressive. I've encountered both ends of the spectrum, but most seem to fall somewhere in between. Texas rat snakes are non-venomous and very beneficial to humans. They snakes are very common throughout their range and perform the vital service of consuming huge numbers of rodents that might otherwise spread out of control.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We Need Your Pictures!

We're looking for pictures and video taken during any of our reptile presentations. We'd like to see whatever you have and (with your permission) post a few pictures to this blog. Please contact me by clicking on the Contact Me link in the right hand column on this page (Sorry, I can't post my e-mail address here or the Spambots will find it).

Thoughts from Mrs. Foux's Class

After the April 23rd show we received a number of comments and questions from Mrs. Foux's second grade class. We're going to post and answer as many as possible right here on the blog. If you sent us a comment or question, click on the comments link below this post to see if yours is here. It might take a few days for me to answer them all, so keep checking back.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spicewood Elementary Reptile Presentation

Last Friday Mrs. Foux and I put on three presentations at Spicewood Elementary. These shows were a little different. The event was outdoors, the groups were larger, teachers and volunteers got hands-on experience and I had to get used to speaking into a mic.
This show also featured more animals than ever before! We had Titus, of course, as well as three geckos and eight snakes. Making their debut were a beautifully bright apricot Pueblan milk snake and Domino, a black and white California kingsnake.
Titus thrilled the kids when he started munching on their playground grass after finishing his tomatoes. And Smaug, the carpet python, tried to steal the show by wrapping his tail around my microphone stand.
We filled up each 55 minute presentation discussing reptiles in general and interesting facts about each species we looked at.
Thank you, Spicewood Elementary, for having us!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ball Python Care Sheet & Leopard Gecko Article

There's a great ball python care sheet on the Reptiles Magazine website for those who have or are thinking about getting one of these wonderful snakes. There are also some great morph pictures along with the care sheet. Check it out.
This month's issue of Reptiles features an article on Crested Geckos. For those of you who attended my recent reptile presentations, you know how cool these lizards are.