There’s been a good deal of talk – much of it babbling blather – the past few days here in the Southeastern US over talk of making the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake a federally protected endangered species.
Take S.C. state Rep. Chris Murphy: “I don’t know if you’re going to get a lot of sympathy for putting one of the most dangerous snakes in the world on an endangered-species list.”
Fellow lawmaker S.C. state Sen. Shane Martin said he doesn’t think special protection for the rattlers is warranted, particularly if it hurts industry.
“The timber industry is the No. 1 industry in our state, and if they feel they need to kill these snakes to do their job, they need to do it,” he said.
The fact is, the Eastern diamondback, like every venomous snake native to North America, does all it can to avoid contact with humans. Snakes run, in a figurative sense, of course, from people, rather than seeking them out, as some seem to believe.
But given that a fear of snakes, called ophidiophobia, appears to be among the most primal of human reactions, it’s hard for many to overcome the concept of people and snakes co-existing together.