Florida firefighter captures 40-pound boa constrictor ‘menacing’ peafowl - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 12-17-2023, 02:49 PM   #1
Martin Nowak
Florida firefighter captures 40-pound boa constrictor ‘menacing’ peafowl

Readers - be sure to watch the video.
Does this look like a 40 pound boa ? Does it look like a "red - tailed boa" ?
It does not look like the pea fowl were "menaced" by the snake. The pea fowl look like they were intrigued by the encounter. A few looked at the snake while most kept feeding.

In Florida, does "further processing" mean euthanized ?
That is the meaning in Alabama by the Game and Fish Commission (ADCNR).

The University of Florida states: "the snake was introduced in southern Florida likely as a result of "the unethical and illegal release of pet snakes," and has established a population in Miami-Dade County."
Is that the only possibility? Could be a singular pet escape. Could be an illegal release. Could be past hurricanes causing damage to reptile facilities. Such statements continue to express negative bias towards reptile keeping and the majority honorable reptile keepers. Biased negative university statements or publications become grist for the regulatory mill. A balanced statement would be more accurate and fair to the circumstances.
Would UF use the same terminology on non-native animals its scientists purposefully released over the years?

Old 12-17-2023, 03:44 PM   #2
Socratic Monologue
I count 12 peafowl, an introduced species (that can carry H5N1 influenza, by the way) that Lt. Venom could have rounded up too but ignored the chance. There's room in the pickup for them, too.

Snake was in the right if it was "discouraging" the peafowl, anyway: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/n...estic-peafowl/
Old 12-17-2023, 04:13 PM   #3
Martin Nowak
It seems to me the term “domesticated” is defined and applied in application by “authoritative powers” according to their whims.

The definition(s) in standard dictionaries would include many, if not most, herptiles.

“Domesticated” definitions:

“Adapted over time (as by selective breeding) from a wild or natural state to life in close association with and to the benefit of humans”

“To change (a wild animal or plant) over time to make it more suited to life with or use by humans”

Law Insider provides a legal definition of “domesticated”:
“Domesticated means an animal or plant trained, adapted and/or bred to live in a human controlled environment.”

“To domesticate something is to tame a wild animal or plant so it can live with people. Dogs and cats are called domesticated animals because they live with us peacefully.”

Of course, domesticated dogs kill more humans per year in the U.S. than humans killed by venomous snakes.

Domesticated house cats carry numerous diseases which infect humans. (click on “Diseases” to review numerous).
Old 12-17-2023, 08:45 PM   #4
Thanks for the expert backup! Snakes take all the heat as usual!
Old 01-17-2024, 06:10 PM   #5
As reptile owners we have no rights any longer....The jack ass government tries to make all of our previous rights....Into tyrannical privilege they hold over our heads....Especially down here in FL....We just sit and wait for the next ever broadening and ever expanding lists by the FWC that will make future reptile owners....Future criminals by the un elected bureaucrats....No LIBRTY, No FREEDOM for "We the People."
Old 01-17-2024, 08:53 PM   #6
Socratic Monologue
Originally Posted by madagascarboid View Post
the un elected bureaucrats....No LIBRTY,
Four of the seven current FWC commissioners were appointed by FL's current governor, who is the most "non-liberty" nationally known politician in a long time. The other three were appointed by Rick Scott who (like many politicians, of course) is on record happily claiming ignorance of science.

It isn't so much that they're appointed, but that they're appointed by elected representatives who want to control people in ways that aren't supported by scientific evidence.

There's an assumption that red states have laws that promote freedom, and blue states not, but at least in exotics possession laws this isn't at all clear (and in most other issues too, but that's another matter). My own state is blue (purple since we're pretty seriously gerrymandered) and has basically no restrictions except on a few native species to prevent them from being commercialized. MN next door has reasonable laws to protect collection of natives, and that's about it. Heck, even California's laws are pretty reasonable if extensively detailed.

Montana prohibits the big boids. Texas requires permits for some of them. Neither of these are based in science so far as can be seen. Georgia prohibits even simple possession of all natives (corn snakes? OK...), and also of all crocs and venomous.

There are some exceptions to this (east coast states are hard to figure on a lot of issues), but it is thought provoking.

It isn't the unelected bureaucrats, it is the elected representatives who are appointing those people who are the problem. And that problem can only be fixed by the voters, who tend to vote with their emotions instead of with critical thinking informed by science. If that changes, a lot of things will get better. In my opinion.
Old 01-17-2024, 09:22 PM   #7
Martin Nowak
State governments tend to be of a totalitarian democracy structure.
Citizens elect a state governor, and the governor appoints “Department Heads” or “Commissioners” over sectors, e.g. health, education, roads/transportation, wildlife, etc. Citizens do not directly elect leadership of Fish & Game (F&G) divisions. Typically, F&Gs appoint “Advisory Boards” who tend to be wealthy landowners and/or political fund contributors. All state F&Gs rely upon one or more state university faculty members to advise them on herptiles. These faculty may be paid and/or have access to F&G data and grant funding. In my experience, academic faculty have low regard for captive and domestic herptiles and the hobbyists.

As the herptile community well knows, virtually none of these entities and people have knowledge or appreciation of herptiles, the business, the hobby, and the mostly conscientious people involved. They may, potentially, be influenced with votes, pressure, numbers, and sound arguments. Certainly in Alabama knowledge of the herptile industry by the F&G and Advisory Board is virtually non-existent; and, Auburn faculty exercise great influence over the F&G.

Some states, not many and not often, request citizens to evaluate results and leadership of the state department heads. Most citizens do not participate when the opportunity is presented. If your state does not provide evaluation opportunity, herptile people can contact their state elected officials and demand ability to evaluate function of the G&F department.

The only way to preserve (even save) the hobby is for herptile enthusiasts to coalesce into a strong and active group. The AVMA estimates between 4 – 6 million households / individuals have reptiles. There are perhaps another 20 million with “exotic” animals who could be considered colleagues of the herptile community.

If readers are not aware, the herptile community is represented by the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, Inc.
Most herptile owners, regrettably, are not members. Membership is nominal in cost. USARK provides information, draft letters, and advice for herptile people to become involved. USARK opposes illogical regulations with frequency.

It is my opinion that the herptile community does not utilize “fire against fire” approaches to demonstrate its position. F&Gs utilize academic publications to propose and confirm their regulations. Publications and research can also be used to advantage herptile ownership. For example, on June 6, 2023, I test posted on FC a report of “Snakebite Deaths from Non-Native Venomous Snakes in the U.S. from 2013-2022”. This report is from the North American Snakebite Registry (NASR). This is a group of academic university medical centers. https://www.acmt.net/nasbr/
Readers of this post can go to that post for the results. The point is non-native envenomation are exceedingly rare and no deaths have been reported in more than a decade. This report should be used and bolster the notion that prohibition of captive ownership of non-native venomous animals is illogical. The FC post indicates about 975 views and 3 comments. Yet the NASR and its data clearly indicate the rarity of non-native envenomation along with zero deaths. "True" domestic and agriculture animals kill and maim exponentially more humans than snakes every year.

Herptile owners should also be aware that once an academic paper is published, errors are virtually never corrected and retractions exceedingly rare. After all, a university or professor would not publish an inaccuracy and if it did would certainly wish to correct it. No?
Old 01-17-2024, 09:32 PM   #8
We have been hammered down here by both red and blue...In the end....They act the same...Right wing/left wing are attached to the same buzzard of usurpation of individual rights...I have written to all my political prostitutes to no-avail...This is not a government of the "People." It is more like a strip mine or gutted phosphate pit that has been emptied of all it tangible worth.... Private property rights are non-existent...Just as your house can be plowed over by immanent domain...Or a list can make you a criminal tomorrow for owning a "Flavor of the weak," exotic, ascribed by a heavy handed government that care nothing of the populous...
Old 01-17-2024, 10:15 PM   #9
Socratic Monologue
Great info as usual, Martin. I'm not quite on board with your "only way to preserve", though. You routinely cite empirical data to support your case, and while USARK certainly does that as well, having elected representatives that are responsive to such data is certainly going to be part of the equation.

Without that responsiveness, any "strong and active group" is going to succeed only via political brute force, and that's not a game that a somewhat marginalized group who tend not to be "wealthy landowners and/or political fund contributors" are likely to win.

Perhaps -- especially if a person thinks that elected F&G commissioners would have more sympathy to the rights of herp owners -- some political move toward democratizing the structures of state agencies would be a good one, whether through direct election of commissioners or the ability of citizens to propose referenda. That would involve supporting increased voting rights in general, and electing representatives who do the same. For the record, WI's gov Evers supports citizen referenda and increased voting rights.
Old 01-17-2024, 11:11 PM   #10
Martin Nowak
John, always appreciate your thoughts and perspectives. It is best that our approaches do not overlap 100%. Best results always gained by different viewpoints and angles for all to consider. Part of a 2022 report I did in my day job looked at citizen advisory committees to G&Fs; as well as what types of lobbying seems to influence G&Fs the most. Below is a sampling of citizen advisory committees in a few states. There are more citizen advisory committees in states among different aspects of wildlife and conservation. None such in Alabama. These tend to be related to the commercial and recreational fishing industries. They have active members and reasonably frequent meetings. It appears they are listened to and endorsed by the respective F&Gs. Some organizations have lobbyists. As far as I know, USARK does not have lobbyists. Perhaps USARK should develop a strategy of Herptile Citizen Advisory Committees in every state. And perhaps a lobbyist. (and yes, paying membership is required to do such). Of interest is that the "dog deer hunting" enthusiasts have a lobbyist out of Florida who is an attorney and appears at state F&G meetings when the topic comes up. This is a relatively small group of enthusiasts, yet they understand the power of lobbyists and political donations. Bring this up simply as an example of a small group with a passion and who are usually castigated by most of society and yet who influence state F&Gs (for the record, while I enjoy hunting and fishing, I am no fan of running deer with dogs).

Limited examples of citizen advisory boards / committees to F&Gs:







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