“What happens when a new species of gecko is discovered? Two Germans grab their suitcases and get on a plane,” says Sandra Altherr, telling an in-house joke. Altherr is a co-founder of Pro Wildlife, a conservation NGO in Germany. In the joke, the anonymous men with suitcases are reptile traders. Their objective is to get […]
Happening upon a snake in the yard can be a startling—to put it mildly—experience. Whether it’s an evolutionary instinct to jump back at the sight of a snake or another one of those ingrained cultural fears, a close encounter with the slithering kind usually shocks the system, even for those among us who admire the […]
Each year in Texas, thousands of rattlesnakes are gassed, starved, and killed for entertainment. This event, known as the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, is a gathering place to slaughter snakes. Held in Sweetwater, Texas, a town of 10,500 residents, the roundup brings 25,000 visitors to Sweetwater. About 4,000 snakes are rounded up each year and killed. […]
As the temperature plunged below zero late in January, a zebra’s back hooves got caught in a fence surrounding the Indiana farm on which he was being kept as a pet. Despite the extreme weather conditions, no one bothered to check on the welfare of this animal. Unable to free himself, the zebra panicked, gulping […]
In the popular TV series “The Walking Dead” humans can hide from zombies by covering themselves in zombie guts, masking their scent. The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi) uses a similar tactic to hide from a major predator, the rattlesnake, which relies on smell to track down its prey.