TTABA Snakes
Joe, Papa Joey & Keith shown with the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary Patch

TTABA Snakes

Hello for those that like to read! Here is the transcripts of our very first episode TTABA Snakes. Cheers!

Keith
Our first episode here. Thanks for thanks to Joe for having us. Thanks for coming.

Keith
We appreciate it.

Keith
Alright, cool. Episode One truth about beer and snakes. Exciting exciting. So we’re here with Joe Hymes from the Phoenix server the logical sanctuary now

Keith
used to be society.

Keith
So yeah, so um typically what we’re doing on these podcasts we feature beer choice and I was told you like blue moon, so that’s why we brought you here. So what are the type of beers you’re like?

Joe
A big fan of

Joe
like pretty much everything they have killed after to their half knots. Probably my favorite

Joe
IPAs hoppy beers. Joe Joe is a big hoppy.

Joe
Yeah, that’s up there. Yeah, my favorites.

Joe
Like a hammock so I like hot. Not from there. Absolutely. No triple not to.

Joe
I don’t know New Belgium so yeah, they’re double or triple IPA.

Joe
Voodoo Voodoo Ranger? Yeah, good. arrangers good. No, that was actually the one I was thinking of. I think in one of the emails I sent too late.

Joe
Yeah.

Keith
Have you have you tried their pumpkin or atomic pumpkin? So it’s,

Keith
we joke about it because last year we found it and we loved it so much that Joey went to the local fries by my house and he completely wiped them out.

Papa Joey
Yeah, they didn’t have it by my at my prize until they got it.

Papa Joey
Cool, so I’m going over and clean the mouth. And that was the end of what they got in that was it because there was it was.

Keith
They said it was seasonal, but they stopped carrying it long before the season was over. And it was before Halloween. They stopped carrying it, wasn’t it or Thanksgiving?

Keith
Oh, yeah, as long

Papa Joey
as you couldn’t find it anymore before it was even season.

Joe
That’s crazy. We’ll get a bunch of pumpkin donations. weeks before Thanksgiving. I think that the season will go all the way through there but not just Halloween, and then they’re giving us pumpkins to feed out to the tortoises.

Keith
That’s crazy. That’s crazy. Yeah, so please don’t go to waste. No, no and actually they used to have I don’t know if they still do but they had this lady that would come around and drop off all the vegetables and fruits that were you she would come like once a week with a trailer and drop off a lot of the fruits and vegetables

Joe
must go out to Costco some town to Whole Foods that will go out

Joe
And our staff member now goes out.

Keith
Right on. Very cool. Very cool. Yes, a good choice with the Blue Moon did some research on it. Invented by Keith, via, as we’re going to say back in 1995.

Keith
It was what was it originally called?

Keith
belly belly sigh Belgian White was the original name for just cool. Like a quiet roll off the tongue. No, it was blue.

Keith
And it’s brewed in Montreal, Quebec, which was news news to me. news to you. So

Keith
what’s it? What’s on the wall?

Keith
Yeah, very cool. It’s got the malted barley white, orange peel. That’s why they usually garnish it with an orange I think we get a bar get on tap. And then coriander notes and grain of grand as flowers.

Unknown Speaker
Sounds like

Unknown Speaker
somebody will correct me. I know I know that’s gonna happen. Well, it comes from plan of some sort.

Keith
Yeah, exactly. You don’t see coriander.

Keith
Say so we’re launching off series. We thought about doing a series on fear. And the first thing that comes to mind for me is fear of snakes.

Keith
I had I had a major fear of snakes when I was a kid. I used to have this reoccurring nightmare that I was running on my front lawn, and the snakes were chasing me biting at my ankles. So we start having those nightmares tonight. You might

Joe
know you wouldn’t be alone. I was just having a conversation with some volunteers this morning and talking about things leading up to this podcast. And a few of them are mentioned in the day since volunteering here have had nightmares about venomous snakes biting the non venomous

Joe
When I first started volunteering at dreams about the green mom was a reoccurring dream right? Right. Wow. Yeah, no way I’m ever working with them a year later.

Unknown Speaker
So that’s that’s a good point to bring up. So you work with all the venomous on site then? Yep, yeah, the primary venomous caretaker couldn’t do without the help a lot of volunteers but the one who at the end of the day, make sure it’s all done. So you like me and your milcom and stuff.

Joe
welcome here. Russ goes back to profitability. More times are grabbing

Joe
more chances are to get

Joe
close call so we just

Joe
worked with facilities.

Keith
So I know what you used. A lot of the veteran nowadays is using medical research I know they were doing Alzheimer studies for was a cobra venom I think maybe they were using for Alzheimer’s

Keith
is a take the proteins out of it. They use proteins for

Keith
treatment to develop the treatments. So all the

Keith
anti

Keith
anti venom is made from horse

Joe
to horse their horse sheep and goats.

Unknown Speaker
It is in spirit it’s crazy

Keith
it’s always funny to watch do yeah and you know

Keith
I used to volunteer for the finished article optical society at the time way back and I think I want to say was oh five through maybe oh eight and I learned a lot. So it got me over my fear of snakes, which I went from one extreme to the other. I went from being afraid of them to owning a lot.

Keith
Well actually, the laws at the time as she likes a snake so it didn’t fit in

Keith
My parents on the other hand, I don’t know if they really enjoyed the fact that I had rattlesnakes in my house, but you know,

Keith
wasn’t the best. But um, yeah, and I know it’s true with anti venom. I think a lot of people don’t realize that but once you get a dose isn’t the second dose that you get is less effective. Is that is that true? You build up a tolerance to it, I think.

Joe
I don’t know if that’s so much an issue that they have anymore. I think the bigger issue that they have is a lot of people will metabolize the anti venom quicker than they metabolize the venom itself. So it’s not as effective so it’s not as effective people will start having remission of symptoms, start feeling better swelling, start going down. And sometimes they actually get discharged from the hospital. The day later the body processes all how all the anti venom and the venom still kicking around and they start having their hands swell up again. Until as a result from it. Yeah, I never knew that either. That’s, that’s interesting. That’s an interesting fact. Now that they started monitoring your urine to make sure that you actually have cleared all the venom, and just

Joe
Stop having dead kidneys.

Unknown Speaker
It’s pretty much.

Keith
Yeah. And that leads that actually leads to my next question is there’s a big misconception and a lot of the first aid classes you used to take when you’re dealing with desert, they would tell you if you get bit to throw a tourniquet on it. And that’s actually completely opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing. worst thing you can do.

Joe
We actually will teach people what to do and that worst case scenario and it’s first thing if you’re been on the handle risk as soon as possible, you want to elevate it. And that’s because you want the venom to spread throughout your body it seems counterintuitive. You want your body to spread it out the

Joe
whole body starts hurting start feeling pain in your legs and arms. It’s a good sign that your body is doing a good job.

Keith
Now, especially with the forgot I have my glasses on the humid toxic venom because it starts to you know, eat away your flesh. If you if you isolate it with a tourniquet the damage is going to be a lot more

Unknown Speaker
Nothing to defend you against it. And it’s not cheap. You get bid. It’s very expensive. It’s an expensive bill I imagine. That’s the joke by won’t kill you but a hospital bill will help. Yeah, for sure. I know.

Keith
Rush used to talk about when he got bit all the time and it was pretty, pretty scary when he tells the story, you know, I think it was they charge like 75,000 or something like that for the for the helicopter ride just for the helicopter ride the boss, but

Keith
that’s crazy. That’s crazy. It’s crazy. So how many how many different species of rattlesnakes do we have here in Arizona? I know we have a lot. Yeah, we actually have more than any other state. We’ve got 13 species here. If you talk to

Joe
really nerd out about all the species and subspecies, some of them will get that number all the way up to 17 species but a 13 to the accepted number. And that’s more than any other states. So this is really a great hotspot. If you love

Keith
Yeah. So in turn, it’s a big problem. It’s a big problem for the growth that we have in the residence we have here because we move into their territory. And they’re inevitably they’re going to be there. Oh, yeah, yeah, we’ll go to remove a rattlesnake from someone’s backyard and it’s surrounded by desert

Joe
where the rattlesnakes live and they just just have to get used to it or it’s the opposite problem or sprawls

Unknown Speaker
rattlesnake in the backyard of no open desert two miles right. leaves us on the top spot for nowhere to relocate these animals now that I can imagine, and the fire department so they stole relocate as well, with a slow day and that’s

Joe
kind of what I’ve gotten from them. We’ve actually gone out and trained a lot of the fire departments How to remove rattlesnakes and first responders, right.

Joe
Right. And that’s kind of what I’ve gotten from them as if it’s a slow day they’ll come out and do it. Some of the departments have policies against it.

Joe
I guess a few years ago, rattlesnake removal, instantly called out in fire afterwards and after hours of fighting, inspired and exhausted forgot about the rattlesnake. And I was just in burlap sack and other guys sat on it. So I know. I know one of the departments now has a policy against doing it all together gives new meanings of vanassa

Unknown Speaker
I can’t imagine God that’d be that’d be horrible. So your season for removals typically start one around March April. I think we should get one. Yeah, this year was a little later the most gonna stay cool for so long. Yeah. We usually start getting our first couple calls in March and will continue all the way up till the end of November. Wow. Because that far out? Yeah. And then you get the newborns that come out. Oh, yeah. Well go out. Pick up a little anywhere from six inch to maybe 12 inch baby rattlesnake in a neighborhood and we usually know what to get in two or three more calls and blessings.

Joe
neighborhood all the neighbors. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
It was funny because when I, when I first started, everybody used to say, you know, I always heard that the babies are more venomous than the adults are. And that’s kind of a misconception too, I think. Yep. Yeah, that’s definitely a misconception. I think kind of grain of truth that that comes from. They are more likely to inject venom every time. We’re an adult rattlesnake that’s been around longer and has had time to realize what’s the threat and not a threat. They can choose to withhold venom and do what’s called the drive by and I’m sure you’re awake. And adults are much more likely to drive by it than juvenile. But if you do get an actual

Joe
their heads a much bigger, much bigger and more severe because of the sheer quantity.

Keith
That’s a good point to know.

Keith
Still, don’t mess with the baby.

Keith
You get it you get these guys have a few beers and they go out and I think they’re

Keith
Yep, I think that’s what they used to say is that that’s the first question they asked you when you get brought to the hospitals. How much have you been drinking when you get bit? Because it’s true. People people are, you know, all muscular when they’re little quicker help you process the venom faster

Keith
by drinking more

Keith
of it flushes out your body. Do this for science now. Yeah, right.

Unknown Speaker
In the blood.

Keith
I know a couple of guys that would probably volunteer. So I could probably think of a few.

Keith
So, I guess a big problem. And I’ve and I’ve heard it over the years to is a big thing that people do when they see a rattlesnake will take a shovel and kill it. And that

Keith
bothered me more when I became a volunteer because I learned more about the animals and gain more respect for them. And the more I heard about that, it really started to bother me is that is that still common? Or sometimes it’s a little

Joe
When we go out to respond to a rattlesnake call somebody has in their backyard or the garage or something like that. Oftentimes, it’s the landscaper that finds it. And we’re lucky if the homeowner kind of runs interference and calls us to have it removed and sometimes it’s a race between us and the landscaper getting tired of waiting for us to be shown up to safely move, relocate rattlesnakes and landscapers already cut their heads are

Joe
it’s really a tragedy especially like you said you get to know the animals and really realize how little they want to do with us I give them a chance they’re going to go the opposite direction and really they buy somebody that’s really an unfortunate accident right?

Keith
I my understanding is a lot of times when people get bit on hikers get bit rock climbers get bit because oh, you know reach up for a shelf or something and not realize the snakes you know, basking there or just hanging out there and trespassing yesterday. Yeah, yeah. So what advice would you give to people, so we can better coexist with these animals and not

Keith
cannot kill them. I mean,

Joe
the biggest thing is really just being aware of your surroundings. Seems simple. But if you’re paying attention to where you’re walking, you’re not walking without a flashlight at night or sticking your hands places where you can’t see, like I said, rock climbers, if they don’t have much they can do about it since you’re reaching up above your head, right? If you’re cleaning out your garage, don’t fish around under shells with your hands are cleaning out the grill, the grill for the summer, don’t be fishing around under there. You’re not gonna see if there’s a rattlesnake

Joe
coiled up all winter nice and comfortable. And that’s when most bites happens when somebody sticks their hand in front of the snake or just their ankle, and the snake doesn’t have time to process that. Well, there’s a risk attached

Joe
to that risk and it’s way too big to eat. So if most snakes are given the chance to realize you’re not afraid, they’re going to try to avoid you unless master to get back into people who are drinking by starting to antagonize and trying to play with it and there still are majority of bites that happened on the

Joe
handsome face guys usually guys messing with it after a few beers, right? That’s That’s sad. That’s really sad.

Keith
That would make for a very bad night. A very bad night. Definitely.

Keith
No, it’s good. The other problem that people don’t realize too, and I saw kind of firsthand because I used to, I used to work for a fireplace company and I installed a lot of fireplaces. And I did a lot in Scottsdale, and they did a lot out in Apache Junction. And the fact that they killed off so many rattlesnakes over the years as they built up the communities, the rats started overpopulate these areas, because you know, their natural food source. So you kill off the prey by the predator, I should say then your prey multiplies. And I think that’s what a big thing in Scottsdale and I know a big thing in Apache Junction they’re loaded with the rats, especially the out on the outskirts. Geez, they’re constantly there constant headache for us, they tear out instalay

Joe
And the walls of the buildings here. My car broke down. I was left here only a week last year. Out in the front of this place. We’re in an open desert environment around the facility here and that week’s time they filled the underside of my choice. They put in a bunch of loose grass cactus everything made a nest. In the car one we

Joe
just just yesterday had a huge headache because we have a nebulizer for treating snakes that get respiratory infections, right. illnesses in the barn, and I went to treat one of the snakes last night and it was already a late day and I found out that the packrats had chewed but a little actual capsule that nebulizer the medication the nebulizer and who knows where

Unknown Speaker
to order some new new parts for our nebulizer this morning. Yeah, so don’t kill the snakes because eat the rats.

Keith
steal stuff for you, right and that’s under the hood of your car that was created because every time I go out to work on these fireplaces, all the wires would be chewed up underneath. They’d be building nest underneath that I didn’t wanna stick my hands underneath them. You’re scared

Keith
A big snake but maybe by a rat or whatever else was living under their

Joe
name carry diseases that we can catch her snakes might be venomous, but we get 35 species 13 or 14, including the coral snake,

Keith
rodents, fecal matter carries disease, you can catch it you can carry rabies themselves. They have way more diseases and pathogens that are transferred with humans and the snake. So if you want to consider snakes and evil, they’re definitely the lesser of two. Right, right. And and the venom what’s funny about snake venom correct me if I’m wrong with my understanding, is it strictly to eat strictly to processed food? Any immobilizer prey if you’re doing an unorthodox event, and then it’s to mobilize the prey? Because snakes don’t have hands they can’t accept they pick up their food and you know, and eat it so they have to stop it they have to and what the human toxic vitamins actually starts breaking down the tissue so it’s easier for that for them to digest starts the digestive process. Yeah, exactly.

Joe
really allows the defense mechanism there’s a video not for us it’s not

Joe
work for us. Yeah, we we know that it’s, it’s venomous and what will happen when it bites us but other animals and predators there’s a video going around a few months ago the bobcat looks like a cat playing with the toy pawn at a rattlesnake in front of it, you see a get dead a few times and by the time that venom is able to really affect the bobcat, how snakes been eaten, and is that dead, so it allows you to fend for themselves really just

Joe
think spitting Cobras are kind of the only example of a snake that actually intends to use its better defense. Yeah, blind predators.

Joe
Like nine feet was it or distance I think I hear about six feet most often. We’ve got a handful here but

Joe
pretty tame and used to people at this point.

Unknown Speaker
Empty school cans around

Keith
It’s not the kind you want in your mouth like if

Keith
somebody is out. Someone’s walking through the desert, they come up on a snake and there’s snakes here that will look like a rattlesnake, like a gopher snake will resemble a diamond back pretty close. I mean the markings with you know, for somebody who doesn’t know the difference, how is a quick way aside from the rattle, everybody knows the rattle. But that’s kind of a misnomer, too, because the buttons on the rattle can break off. So what’s a quick way to identify just by looking at a snake? It’s venomous or non venomous? Well, if you are in Arizona listening to this, the best way to tell is it as a pointy tail tail, which can be tricky. Like I said, rattles can break off but even when they break off, kind of blunted off around tip to the tail or the next feet of the rattle started growing back eventually. So if you see that roundabout,

Joe
tip on a table and there’s a good clue that it’s a rattlesnake then I’m just lost this rattle, but go for snakes will have that pointy tail. Their colors aren’t quite the same as a rattlesnake. Most of the rattlesnakes that people confuse for being killed for snakes having a black and white striped tipler tail Joker, snakes won’t have that. And then the headshake kind of the indicator.

Joe
Go for snakes try to fool you on this two ball use that same ability to stretch them out. So open sometimes starts with their heads wide. But it is true the rattlesnakes tend to have more triangular shaped head, where to go for snakes

Joe
diameters the rest of their body looks like a big snake.

Keith
distinguishable head on the front of it and that’s probably due to the venom glands on the side that makes their head come out.

Keith
So, crazy question How long have you been working with the venomous

Joe
The venomous specifically only about three years, the shelter in general about four years now. So what what got you interested in?

Joe
Well always been a reptile geek as long as I can remember. That’s how my brother and I grown up we spend our weekend Saturday mornings we go terrorize the neighbor’s front yards, lifting up their water meter caps, looking for the wall Western band and get go, is that right? inevitably we’d happen across rattlesnakes, and I got interested in those two. But when I started at the shelter here, I was really just interested in medical quarantine animals. That was really my job is taking care of the sick animals here, right. And just kind of overtime, I started working with venomous curator who was working at the time, and

Joe
I was hired on after volunteering for about a year putting about 700 volunteer hours in that year. Congratulations. That’s awesome. dream come true.

Unknown Speaker
Working with venomous snakes Monday, your day job yeah, that’s that’s

Keith
Well, some people might call you crazy for that. But you know, I,

Joe
I respect and I have a lot of respect for that. I love them. They’re such an interesting animals. And I do tell people about a year before I started working with the band, and this was just working with the medical. I remember having kind of this conversation with a current venomous speaker asking him, why are you doing this right? And really deciding, well, that’s cool, but it’s just not worth the risk. And as I learn more about it and got more comfortable with the animals, they realized how much you can lower the risk by just knowing what you’re doing and knowing about the right perspective.

Joe
Knowledge is power.

Keith
And you have to be smart about it. So you can’t get you can’t get complacent ever.

Keith
That would be bad. But that wouldn’t be good. Especially the pH as you guys don’t just deal with rattlesnakes? No, no, with Cobras, you deal with all different types of vipers. So does that does that worry you

Joe
I mean, you know, people don’t believe me but the big rattlesnakes are more intimidating than a lot of the Cobras and

Joe
yeah, the the Cobras, the mambas they’re fast, but they telegraph a lot of their movements where

Joe
rattlesnakes and Vipers are kind of more like landmines that you get inside a certain bubble, their lightning fast that can strike quicker than you can think. And they’re they’re not forgiving if you make a mistake where Cobras mambas if you’re staying out of their way, they’re kind of content to do their thing a lot of times

Joe
go the opposite direction.

Joe
I wouldn’t thought the opposite. I thought the Cobras would have been forced, you know, scary of the mambas. You hear the Philippine Cobras are pretty nasty. Most of the Cobras are fairly hostile. They’ve been in captivity a while at this point. But if you work kind of passively with them scared of the head away from you, right kind of lightly guide them where you want them to go. They’re pretty cooperative.

Joe
Same with the mambas but somebody

Joe
rattlesnakes, they just take that defensive posture and it’s kind of hard to break, right? Especially on the larger ones, they have a two foot strike Ranch, three foot strike range and some of the bushmasters that are larger.

Keith
So that’s that’s another thing I hear from a lot of people to is Holly it leaked out me for six feet and it you know, and tried to bite me and i and i know that’s not the case. I think they bite they can strike within a third of their body length, right.

Keith
So it’s not an average size here. It’s probably not a very big strike range. Yeah, so we find our average size, only about three. Right so you’re looking at about a foot strike rate. We don’t have the the eight foot rattlesnakes, the lady that calls up and says I got a 10 foot rattlesnake on my patio come get it.

Joe
Now even in captivity, Western Diamondbacks, our largest species here in Arizona, they only get to about six feet when they’re being fed every single week out in the wild, so we usually see him about three to four feet long. But our largest ones about five and a half feet and he

Keith
He has a strike ranch that’ll keep you on your toes, I’m sure, I’m sure. So if you’re on a trail when you come across one, just take a step to the side and just keep on moving and they’re not gonna get you. Yeah, and I gotta chase, you know, they’re not gonna chase you. I’ve heard that too.

Joe
We like to say as long as you’re three feet away from any rattlesnake, you’re relatively safe. Taking pictures you want just don’t step any closer than that three foot boundary and walk around them.

Keith
You guys hear a lot about kids being bit does it happen quite often? Or is it mostly mostly drunk adults?

Joe
A few unfortunate invites to

Joe
one of the big

Joe
peaks then when kids get bitten was actually Easter. Easter Christmas, right? Exactly. Yeah. Every year we’ll go around the news stations and do a PSA because it’s that hospitals just get inundated because kids are rushing out sometimes and racing. their siblings jam their hands under bushes right where the snakes are hiding and it kind of falls on the parents to Hey, maybe I’m

Keith
Put under the bush.

Joe
Go out and try to tell people educate people. Tell your kids we’re not hiding low. They’re all right, it’s gonna be off the ground to kind of lower that risk.

Keith
Be be a drone drone party to Easter egg hunt

Keith
alone in the bush. So that works out for you.

Unknown Speaker
Now, is it true that a rattlesnake will always rattle them right? That is true. A lot of the times if the rattlesnake again goes back to them having time to process that you’re not afraid or a direct threat.

Joe
That time usually rattle right.

Unknown Speaker
Interesting.

Joe
Sorry, I got distracted by the Oh.

Joe
Usually they’ll rattle is what I meant to say.

Keith
Was it wasn’t a snake behind me. I’m okay.

Unknown Speaker
Cobra.

Joe
I don’t know. Usually they’ll rattle if they’ve got time to process what’s going on. Right and some

Keith
VCs are more predisposed to rattling and warning, you said that black tail rattlesnakes are kind of more likely to rattle things that rely more on their camouflage and their ability to be unseen or a little less likely to rattle and stick my hand on speckled rattlesnake shapes in our backyard here is Black Mountain. I got up to the top a few minutes before my dad did and just kind of leaning back on some rocks enjoying the view and my dad came up the trail behind me pointed out that about foot from my hand was a little speckle rattlesnake just sitting right there didn’t rattle ones that made it and let me know it was there because I knew I wasn’t a threat and wasn’t about to step on it so he didn’t have to warn me. Wow, that’s crazy. I saw him. I think it was the other day. There’s somebody posted on Facebook. It was actually a it was a police body cam. And they were these two people laying on this dirt road and they were drunk or whatever sleeping on this dirt road, and there’s rattlesnake literally slithered by their head and kept going and accomplish like bold moves.

Keith
If

Keith
you have a rattlesnake bite your head, and as I started going by, and then he’s like, Alright, roll this way and you they rolled quick and you can imagine they were. It was it literally went right by their head. I was blown away. I was like, Oh my god, can you imagine? I do have a funny story to tell you when I first volunteered here. I don’t know if you guys still have the wooden cages with the glass fronts on them that you open from the back. Yeah, just very courageous events and stuff. So we’re getting ready to do a show when

Keith
Russell probably kill me for telling the story.

Keith
Now, it wasn’t that bad. It was it was an experience for me because, again, you’re talking to somebody who’s definitely afraid of rattlesnakes at one time, but we were loading some red specks into the cage, and we had a new volunteer with us. So I had my snake Tom’s and I was kind of holding the door. You know, they were putting four of them in the cage. So he drops the door, and all three of them get out at the same time. And they were literally by my feet. I froze. I’m working out in the first minute

Keith
And it’s because I was so nervous because you’ll be in that close you like, is this thing going to strike me in the ankle? What’s going to happen, you know, and it scared the hell out of me. And I, from that day on, I just had the utmost respect for these animals. And you know, it’s just, they’re amazing. It’s amazing.

Joe
That’s incredible to see firsthand and up close that is that really kind of shows how they don’t want to strike. Right. I don’t know what’s going on and they realize you’re not food. I know. I’ve been in positions where mishaps like that happened and snake very easily could have been me or punish me for a mistake. I made it right. They don’t always do it. So. So they’re not the only chance to buy it, but just because they have a chance and they’re capable of doing it doesn’t mean they’ll do it every time. Right. So they’re not the evil that they’re made out to be. I mean, I think they’re not the snakes that they’re made up to be. Yeah, exactly.

Keith
You know, not gonna get me now.

Keith
No, I think you know, I think over the years, I think Hollywood’s played a big role in portraying them as evil and, you know, Anaconda, how many movies?

Keith
I made? Exactly, exactly. It’s, it’s crazy, but, but I think, you know, an organization like the BHS, I think really does a good job. And from my experience with them, and you guys have grown so much from what I’ve seen, will upload some footage that we took from around the facility, on our website and all the podcast here. But it’s amazing how you guys have grown over the years and I think what you do is incredible. You go around you do education in the schools. You have you’re doing summer camps here now. Yes, summer camps all summer long for all age groups. What can I be a kid again?

Keith
That’d be fun. Come here for a week and play with snakes. That’d be fun. I don’t know. Would you like that?

Joe
Pick up, they’ll bring their kids here. We’re all about it. And they’re a little more standoffish and they’ll kind of wait at the gates for their kids to come out. Yeah, they probably like the tortoise.

Keith
is and that’s more there

Keith
Yeah, you guys have wrong God. Yeah not

Joe
poison dart frogs behind you there. Oh wow I didn’t even see them. They’re tiny little things

Keith
I know they’re pretty colors too usually right blues and reds and yeah we’ve got us some painted Mandela’s and there’s beautiful black and yellow.

Joe
stand, stand out highly toxic and non toxic captivity from Madagascar so don’t carry that name.

Keith
Probably don’t want to let them know, right?

Keith
The whole thing is lick the toes again, here’s an eight or whatever.

Joe
Not sure if it’s true, that’s how we’ve ended up with a few of our toes. Really.

Joe
People who had them for that purpose, oh my god, which is not at all true.

Keith
All

Joe
and nothing capacity.

Keith
What do you already go from Ty pods?

Keith
What’s the progression there? I don’t get that.

Keith
It’s crazy. It’s crazy.

Unknown Speaker
I’ve heard of tau finishes.

Unknown Speaker
That’s funny,

Keith
man. So do you have your volunteers ever you mentioned that they, after they start volunteering here they have nightmares but as as this plays cured anybody have fears that you know,

Joe
all the time.

Joe
Right behind our facility here.

Joe
Behind us we are in a somewhat residential area. And she moved in and

Joe
she moved into and it’s been vacant for many years with a bunch of tall overgrown grass and sort of so she was tearing

Joe
Five snakes. And then she learned that she moved in next to the largest

Joe
share in the country. And she’s actually come a long way. We want to have a good relationship with all her neighbors so we started talking with her and gave her a pair of snake gators that kind of like proof shin guards background on on a property while she kind of built up confidence and learned about it and eventually we got her out here enough that she’s started volunteering in Pretoria students and mentally worked her way up into doing our rattlesnake removal course where we actually people how to Yeah, it took her to dose through first time she just sat through it kind of watched everybody else practice with a non venomous right. wasn’t quite ready to move on to the rattlesnake but came back for a second class and did it like pro and that’s incredible. We’re still right here to help her out if she ever needs it, but now she can do it on her own.

Unknown Speaker
Did you

Keith
hear the rattlesnake removal pass

Keith
Sign me up.

Keith
Very good. Yeah, you guys, you guys do incredible work and you do a lot of shows around town to I

Keith
used to do the children’s Expo. I don’t know if you guys still do that.

Joe
Actually at the children’s children’s learning play Expo it might it might be now they might have changed the name of it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we still do that. Okay. Very cool. Calvin goes out and one of our dedicated volunteers goes out and does that every year.

Joe
Go down to the Tucson Children’s Museum, reptile shows here in Phoenix is really any chance that we have to get out and talk to the public about how

Unknown Speaker
cool reptiles are and the important role that they play in the environment. We really jumped with those chances to teach people that reptiles are just as important as other animals in the ecosystem. So So jumping back we got Of course with the whole fear thing a little bit but

Keith
As far as fear of reptiles go, what do you think? What do you think is the biggest cause of that with people just not having the knowledge or

Joe
I think it’s, that’s kind of the root of it is not having the knowledge and then all the myths and legends and stories that kind of fill in the gaps of what people don’t know, right, we’ll see that a lot of events, kids will come rushing up to our move slow see the rattlesnakes behind glass or even non venomous species behind glass, and I’ll be excited and stoked to see these animals. And then you’ll see the parents standing 10 feet back, yelling at the kids get away from them.

Joe
teach kids at such a young age to avoid these animals and stay away from them. And that’s good that they’re not playing with rattlesnakes, and that’s important to teach them but it’s also important to let them know that they’re not just monsters, right? Right. There’s a safe way to coexist. So we’re not we’re not born, being afraid of these things. It’s a learn to learn and I think you know,

Keith
do you ever fear of them or a healthy

Unknown Speaker
Well, a healthy respect I

Unknown Speaker
played with water snakes, right? I mean, never had any fear of the snake if I knew it wasn’t gonna take a small bite though.

Joe
Yeah, was interesting too because non venomous garter snake or other water snake bite can be a lot less severe than buy from us say a squirrel that you’re going to be going against rabies shot and it’s true cancers lacerated by squirrels were a non venomous snake by sea as long as it’s a small one. Most ones we have in the US to wipe away the blood and an hour later you won’t remember what

Keith
not so much when you get into the boys and the pythons. Those those can be less Yeah.

Keith
I had a it was my first year working with a Burmese python and she did. She was beautiful. She was out by now. And

Keith
again, you get complacent and very easy to do.

Keith
I was going through all my cages and cleaning out and I stuck my hand in the grab the water bowl. And she nailed me right on the top of the hand and it hurt.

Keith
Yep.

Joe
Because their teeth are recurved right? Yep, they’re recurved it was Mario that they want in the barn. Oh, wow. Oh, the one the one you like he grabbed magic. Man, I was checking in on him after one of those kind of problematic meals where he’s having trouble getting right.

Joe
Just kind of in his body, but not really.

Joe
I was checking on him kind of reached over him and he came right up, grabbed my hand and at that point, I just kind of had to sit and wait for him to let go because

Joe
you’re not going anywhere. rip your hands.

Keith
Well, again, that’s having knowledge because most people’s reaction would be like, Oh, geez, you know what you do that it’s like it’s ripping me at that point. And they have three rows of teeth they have

Joe
or two, I think it’s I think it’s a different on the top of the

Joe
On stage three on one and two on the

Joe
monitor

Unknown Speaker
for sure, no, I just sat there and waited for him to release time and had about 24 separate punctures on my hands but I didn’t tear it out and I was driving home 10 minutes later is not what’s gonna happen if a dog bites you again that’ll be much more severe by be getting stitches and everything else. Yeah, yeah. So even the big ones aren’t quite as monsters. Right. I think that I think the fear for a lot of people is not so much being built by them but being constricted by the bigger snakes, you know? Yeah. I mean, it would be golf the prequel Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
Eat you but it would, it would definitely wrap itself. Yeah, that’d be that would be fun. No.

Joe
Big protocol here is you have to have three people with you. If you’re working with one of the better ones, one of the larger pythons that way you’ve got one person to be there with your help and you have to get better

Joe
And another one to go run and get more help, right?

Keith
Yeah, cuz I mean, they’re they’re all muscle. I mean, if they want to wrap around you, I mean, the smaller ones, you can pry them off, you know, yeah, I’ve had that happen, but you get something that’s 1518 feet long. You know, it’s not so easy. It’s more snake than personal. Right? Yeah. Yeah, it’s like 100 guys squeezing Yeah, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’d be tough.

Keith
But I know.

Keith
I was always taught that if they do bite you and they don’t release, you can use alcohol rubbing alcohol, and that usually does something to their senses, and it’ll release them worse than a lot of cases. Mario wasn’t too perturbed by it when it hadn’t been to bother him. I didn’t have rubbing alcohol bottle, the hand sanitizer right there.

Joe
Took the cap off and the rubbing the straw kind of around this gums around his jawline.

Joe
Probably really sooner than he would have but I was still sitting there for a while.

Keith
doesn’t feel good now.

Keith
I’m sure I’m sure.

Keith
Monsters. Let’s talk about

Unknown Speaker
what do you want to know? How common are they around here now? I mean,

Joe
it’s certainly hard to have real specific and short population numbers because they spend so much of their life underground that will get calls about them into people’s homes and backyards and really can’t do a lot to relocate them. They spend their whole life in a quarter mile range, but most of the time people will see him once and then not again for a year again for a couple of years. But they are believed to be all over the place just right under our noses underground. I just nomadic. Yeah, murders, and they’re not really venomous. Are they there? There are the do so they do have a venom. The venom and their venom is the complete opposite of rattlesnakes where it’s mostly just to get through right phenom doesn’t really help with food accusation. It’s just there’s fence. So I like monsters is kind of having a

Joe
three prong defense system. I’ve got the bright orange and black colors almost like a traffic coming to warn you slow and stocky, but I’m venomous, right?

Joe
And they’ve got the osteo derms. The little bones actually implanted in their skin act almost like chain mail or most if something does go ahead and bite them like a coyote or some other predator. It’s not going to get too far before it turns around and uses this third prong offense, the bite, they bite and they have to actually latch on because unlike rattlesnakes that have been implanted to inject venom. They just have to kind of nod the venom into you it seeps up from the bottom job through the gums and they’ll hold on for as long as they can if you go to the hospital.

Joe
It’s fairly common.

Keith
I think there were labeled rushes to labeling the Bulldogs and the reptile world. Yeah, it’s like put a pair of vise grips on your hand. They don’t release but how come I mean? I don’t think it’s very common to be bit by one you got to really antagonize one that

Joe
Be Fit right yeah, if the snakes are 90% you were messing with it to get big deal monsters are hundred percent now. So much so that because they’re a federally protective species if you go to the hospital with a bite chances are damn fish will meet you there and be writing your ticket unless you have a really good excuse for how you got your finger and smile. Now I’m sure it’s a hefty fine. Yeah, I’ve seen numbers all over the place from people just harassing them $700 fines and people that actually killed them and bragged about it on their social media.

Joe
$40,000 Wow.

Keith
Well, did we pass any? I don’t think we did it. We seen just one in the barn. His name’s Frederick. He’s been here forever. You might remember him. If it was in the house back in the day. That’s probably the one I might be. I don’t want to dance babysat a monster. I got the whole one. When I bought

Keith
You’re here they’re really docile. They’re really cool.

Keith
They have a they have a not too distant cousin we were talking about earlier the beated the Mexican beated. Yeah. Bigger meaner cousin.

Joe
They’re more of a brand I think more brownish color. They they look more like almost like a I guess a bearded dragon color maybe I’m trying to remember I haven’t seen one in a long time but we can see if any of ours are still awake. Outdoor enclosure here. Okay, they are so large, but they just kind of looked like a souped up to a monster monster is that their largest or not 24 inches and the blizzards can get about twice that size a little under twice. So they have that pinkish hue to them or they switch the orange or that pinkish hue out for yellow. So instead of being black and orange or black and yellow, or black and pinkish, they’ll be just black and yellow colors cool, beautiful, kind of twice the size. And they also have the interesting behavior of one

Joe
We’re cleaning in their enclosure will actually come up to

Joe
you that will kind of make contact.

Keith
Interesting. I’ve never thought I’d be cool to go see him because I’ve never I’ve never actually seen one in person. I’ve seen plenty healers but

Joe
won’t mess with them now, but hopefully.

Unknown Speaker
Let’s go.

Keith
Good. That was a good topic. really curious about

Unknown Speaker
Thanks for having us. So you guys still work off a donations? largely Yeah, we do get some revenue from doing the camps and going out to schools.

Joe
But other than that, it’s kind of what we can bring in on her own this shelter my

Joe
donated to us that keeps the lights on shipments of rodents coming in to feed the snakes. I’m sure you guys get a lot of output from the community. I’m sure a lot of people volunteer and help out and donate. There’s no way we can do this without a huge network of volunteers. We’ve got about 30 really consistent here every week volunteers. In total, we’ve got about 100 record volunteers with us right now. That’s awesome. Few of the local grocery stores call us whenever they have produce going bad and we get about 3000 pounds of produce donated each week while our tourism collection doesn’t stand without those donations. So we really are here for the community and here because of the community. That’s phenomenal. That’s awesome. So so people if our followers are fans, if they decide they want to donate what’s the best way can they go to your website? Can Yeah, yeah, if you’re here locally, you can go to the website, find out about donating as well as coming out for a tour. If you offer tours a few times a week. We’re not like a zoo where you can just wander

Unknown Speaker
Anytime, right? We have a few scheduled tours. And if you have a large enough group, you can do private tours as well. And there is also a donate tab if you’re not local and just want to kind of support the mission and support awareness about reptiles and how amazing and misunderstood they are. Yeah, very cool. We’ll put we’ll put a link to your website up there. So people want to jump on there and donate or even come out and check out the facility. It’s amazing. walk around and see what’s here. I’m very impressed. Yeah. And you got alligators and crocodiles. I mean, now how cool is that? Even though we didn’t talk about rattlesnakes, but you got alligators and crocodiles, and

Unknown Speaker
it’s the second largest collection of crocodilians in the US at this point. Wow. So a little bit of something for every type of reptile lover. And you have the one that was found here in Arizona. Yeah. Which is a clone found out in northwestern Arizona. That’s crazy. been there for years from what I understand. Yes, reading the story was a local thing.

Joe
I guess Russ tells me when he first got the call the

Joe
alligator.

Joe
Guy, you’re crazy. It’s not up, there’s too cold for them or not enough food for Arizona, we don’t have alligators. And sure enough, they put a couple tracks up. Two days later, strong and

Unknown Speaker
pretty good size two and that’s it must have been a heck of a trap. He’s grown quite a bit from what I understand when he first came here. I would imagine his food source probably wasn’t the greatest living where he was living. I mean, yeah, that’s kind of an anomaly that he was doing as well as he was alive when they found them. Ross speculates that you might not have made another winter up there how skinny he was when he came in, I guess.

Joe
Wow. And now he’s he’s just massive. Yeah, I saw that. There was a word for that for this year. That was very just gone wrong for somebody.

Keith
Well the problem is they would thrive in our waters here because we don’t want water you know? I mean the fish I mean they would do really well with people

Keith
right? Yeah, let’s go swimming in another panic

Keith
go swimming it can’t even lay gonna have an alligator come out that’d be interesting.

Keith
Well very cool. Well we appreciate you doing an interview with this is awesome and we’ll definitely put a link to the website and get people get people on board to maybe sign up to volunteer or donate you know, to facilities. It should be awesome.

Joe
Phoenix calm we don’t make people spell out all

Keith
the mouthful but I feel bad because our websites the truth about beer and

Joe
beer is we get a lot of people asking what

Joe
newest neighbors across the street from us.

Joe
One thought that we might be a herpes Research Center and the other

Joe
land research

Unknown Speaker
or pot farm one of the other Yeah, something

Keith
that’s interesting. Very cool again, thanks for hanging out with us.

Unknown Speaker
learned something myself. That’s good.

Keith
It’s always a learning experience with beer with beer

Joe
to drink. All right.

Keith
Here’s to our first episode.

Unknown Speaker
Thank you.

Joe
Truth about beer.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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