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Posted by Mirco Sole Kienle on December 20, 1999 at 12:16:32:
In Reply to: Young people and herping. I would like alot of opinions on this. posted by John Hewlett on August 07, 1999 at 14:44:11:
I grew up catching and holding animals. First it where beetles, then herps, then fishes and then birds. When I was 12 my father gave me a snake to play with. I played with the snake about 3 hourse and than decided it was time for the snake to take a bath. She didn't like that at all and bite me. Then looking in some books me and my mom decided that it was an adder (Vipera aspis) and I was brought to a doctor who gave me the antidote. From that day on I wanted to know everything about snakes and thats why I studied Biology and specialized in herpetology.
I think Europe and specially germany has become a realy sad place for kids who like herps: The problem is that all european herps are protected by the Bern convention. That means that even catching them is forbidden. I think all important herpetologists started one day helding tadpoles in basins at home or studying some lizards in a terrarium at home. That would be illegal today. In part it's really great that herps get protected, but I think that, if a kid catches some tadpoles anywhere and observes how they grow up, get feet and at the and start hopping around wouldn't make that frog or toad species become extinct.
Mirco Sole Kienle (university of Tuebingen, germany)