Snake expert aims to take a bite out of fear

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By Ada Ciuca

For the Los Alamos community, this summer has been one filled with hot days, flash flood warnings, and rattlesnake sightings. During a snake encounter, most people have a tendency to become scared and defensive, but local snake expert Tom Wyant does not encourage that behavior.
In an attempt to educate members of the community, Wyant, the go-to man for locals experiencing snake issues, conducted a free class called “Snake Safety” at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Throughout the class, he kept referring to the slithery creatures as beautiful and essential for the environment, as they eat disease-carrying rodents without being able to transmit diseases any further.
“I’m a snake enthusiast,” Wyant said during the presentation. To prove his point, he brought along some friends- an assortment of eight snakes, some of which were venomous rattlesnakes. Wyant spent time showing off the less dangerous snakes, allowing them to coil around his arms and neck. As it turns out, most of the snakes roaming around Los Alamos gardens are corn snakes, garter snakes, bull snakes, and other variations of non-venomous species.

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