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free, advice for the newer herper...give a man a fish.....


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Posted by regalringneck on January 29, 2003 at 20:44:07:

In Reply to: Re: Unsolicited, but free, advice for the newer herper... posted by Rob Carmichael on January 29, 2003 at 07:20:51:

& he'll eat for a day...teach him to fish...
Mojo & I submit its time to quit giving out fish (mojo wants em all) & direct newcomers to learn to use the search features on these forums, mebbe even read a book (now theres a real old fashioned notion eh?), & find their own answers to basic ?'s. This may result in a slower moving forum, but one thats infinitly more interesting. I for one tire of seeing complex topics buried under an avalanche of.... My neonate wont feed... What temp should I...ad infinitum....

:I agree with Steve. Since I know Steve is in the "zoo business" (and I used to be), I think he will agree with me in that it is too bad that some (perhaps many) zoo personnel who work with herps sorely lack good husbandry skills and good communication skills and an openness to answer questions from the "common folk". Although some zoos, such as Philadelphia, have some very experienced and knowledgeable people, I have found that this is more of the exception rather than the norm....hopefully, we'll get things to swing the other way. There are MANY private breeders/hobbyists/professionals who have been around for many years who are VERY open towards helping first time herpers (and I continue to tap them for information)....but it takes initiative on the part of the newbie to call, email and be persistent (without being a pain!). I know that much of my success as a herpetologist is owed towards professional herpetologists who really shaped my way of thinking as a youth (one that comes to mind is Dr. Michael Corn who was my college professor for zoology and a well respected herpetologist). Ray Pawley, former curator at Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoo is another person I HIGHLY respect in the field because he was meticulous to detail and knew how important it was to develop an instinct for working with herps.

::Get out while you still can! Just kidding. I just wanted to say that if you are new in the game, don't be afraid to ask guys who are old heads to help you probe or medicate.In the 70's,John Brunner, one of herpetoculture's true pioneers, took me under his wing. Later on, Jim Merli taught me to probe and pop snakes.I felt dependent on their skills, but learned for myself in no time. Unless you live in a very remote area, help is there for the asking. Don't be embarrassed, or shy, and have to struggle unnecessarily.
::Steve B.

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