Found an aricle in the _Weekly_World_News_ (a supermarket rag with
about as much journalistic integrity as _National_Enquirer_) that I thought
you r.p.h. readers might be interested in. Since I became a snake-owner, I
have become interested in why there are so many snake-phobic people out there.
One cause I look at is the inaccurate portrayal of snakes in the media. The
following article is a clear candidate for "inaccurate.":
[headline] "Couple wrestle with python to save girl from fangs of death"
[caption next to picture of a man with a Burmese python coiled around his arm 3
times] "BOYFRIEND Paul Tite with his dangerous pet serpent, Charlie, which
had been left out of its cage."
[caption next to picture of a woman kneeling next to a young girl wearing a
plaster cast on her left leg] "SCARE OF A LIFETIME: Relieved mom Angela with
daughter Terri, who suffered over 30 puncture
wounds in her leg when a nine-foot sanke
tried to swallow her whole."
[keep in mind that the "victim" is 4 years old and ~3 ft. tall and the python
is 9 ft. long.]
"Young mom Angela Paisey screamed in *** terror as she saw a nine-
foot pyhton squeezing the life out of her 4-year-old daughter.
The huge slithering serpent had coiled itself around the tiny girl and
was crushing her -- so it could swallow her whole.
The Bristol, England, woman and her boyfriend grappled with the monster
in a nightmarish 15-minute tug-of-war until finally freeing the little girl.
`I thought she would be crushed to death -- I thought I had lost my
baby,' Angela, a 28-year-old divorcee, said with a shudder.
The drama unfolded recently when Angela took her daughter Terri to
visit her boyfriend Paul Tite, 25. The child was eagerly looking forward to
meeting Paul's pet python, Charlie.
While Angela and Paul cooked dinner, Terri wandered into the living
room -- where the snake was out of its cage.
As the curious tot petted the creature, it suddenly turned on her.
Angela heard her doughter let out an earsplitting scream, and dashed in from
`When I ran into the room the python had already wrapped itself around
Terri with just her head showing. I couldn't believe what I was seeing,'
[Mind you, there's a picture of this python, and it can't even wrap around this
guy Paul's entire arm...]
"Angela and Paul tried to yank Terri out of the grasp of the ravenous
reptile -- but its razor-sharp fangs were firmly embedded in the child's leg
and the desperate couple couldn't free her.
Said Angela: `Her eyes were bulging and she began to shake ***ly.
I thought: `My baby is dying!' '
Paul scrambled to the phone and called a vet -- who told them their
only chance was to lever the snake's jaws open. While Angela frantically
called an ambulance, Paul grabbed an iron bar.
Paul said: `I tried to pry Charlie's jaws open. It started to let go
-- then there was a horrible crunching sound as I broke its teeth.'
The snake released Terri -- and wrapped around Paul's arm. He was
wrestling with it when paramedics arrived and got him free.
Terri was rushed to the hospital -- with the snake's fangs still
buried in her flesh and 32 puncture marks in her leg.
Terri's fine, but her views on snakes have changed: `I used to like
them but now I don't."
Hurm. I find this whole episode hard to believe. I mean, pythons
don't have fangs. At least not ones that can get embedded in your leg and
broken off! I am angered about the amount of misinformation about snakes
that proliferates the media, and the negative role snakes are painted in.
Anybody out there agree/disagree? Any other evidence of bad snake portrayals
in the media?
"Y'Know, a kiss on the hand MAY be quite continental, man ...
... but tactical thermonuclear weaponry is a guy's best friend."
-- Waldo "D.R." Dobbs