Monday, June 02, 2008

Goal: Turn Fear of Snakes into Respect

Article from Clarion Ledger
They slither. That in itself is enough to cause most adults to come unglued at the first sight of a snake in their vicinity. Doesn't matter what kind of snake it is, since most people don't know the difference. They just go nuts.

It is the mystique of the shoulder-less that the Museum of Natural Science hopes to eliminate Tuesday during its annual "Snake Day, Mississippi Style" program. By teaching the public, adults and children alike, about the positive role that snakes play in nature, biologist Terry Majure will try to turn fear into respect with two one-hour seminars. "Actually my goal is to educate, to teach people that snakes are our friends and simply deserve our respect," Majure said. "My messages are No. 1, stay out of harm's way, and No. 2, get an understanding that snakes are not out to get us and they are beneficial."

Majure's two seminars cover the natural history of snakes in Mississippi, the role they play in the ecosystem and identifying different species, including recognizing the six venomous snakes native to the state from the 55 non-venomous species.

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