The Cub Scouts of Pack 819 in Irving got a special treat at their meeting on Tuesday the 27th of November when my father, John Hunter of SnakeTalk.Com, made a presentation of a very unique nature with live snakes. When asked about the content of a SnakeTalk presentation he replies, "The limited time of a SnakeTalk makes it impossible to cover everything. I try to cover information relevant to the audience. With Scouts, I focus on camping and hiking protocols. With public schools (usually elementary), I focus more on the nature of snakes. If it is older kids, I may also go a little deeper into the biology of snakes. With church youth groups, the focus tends more toward the comparisons of snakes to other animals and mankind, and how well everything works when we do things the way God designed them to be done. I could talk for days on end about snakes, but that would be very boring for most people. Few people share my passion for snakes. In small doses, my passion is exciting to others, but if I talk too long, people lose interest in what I say. No one ever loses interest in the snakes though, which is why they are so important in what I do. The snakes stir awe, excitement, fear, anxiety, and many other feelings, but never ennui."
My dad began making presentations with snakes just after high school, his first presentation made at his alma-mater, Nimitz high school in Irving using a friend's 15 foot Burmese python named Julius. Over the years he found he was making presentations more and more often, so in 2001 he formalized SnakeTalk into a business and picked up the domain name. The website has become a resource for anyone interested in snakes with general information about keeping snakes as pets, a FAQ's page with responses to questions people have written to him, book recommendations, links to other resources, and of course information about SnakeTalk presentations.
One question people often ask is, "Do they bite?" Of course the answer is no, all of my dad's snakes are accustomed to human contact. He explains, "Most of them are adoptions from people who no longer could care for them and have been long term captives and/or were hatched/born into captivity. They have never been exposed to any threat, and their defense mechanism is completely dormant. They simply have no reason to bite and there is little anyone could ever do to cause one of these snakes to bite a person. This is very important since I work so closely with children."
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The Cub Scouts get up close and personal with Banana the Burmese python.
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John Hunter of SnakeTalk shows off an albino Burmese python named Banana at a recent SnakeTalk exhibition.
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A few Girl Scouts got involved in the demonstration by holding up Banana for the crowd.
Photos by Miranda Hunter,
Miranda Hunter is an assistant for John Hunter.