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August 2008 Editor's Note

Shall we continue publishing this venomous issue?

Komodo Dragons Hatch At L.A. Zoo
Breeder’s Choice – side-necked turtle
Florida Hunting Season: No Pythons Captured

Welcome once again to our special biennial venomous issue.

This is our fourth time bringing you this special issue focusing exclusively on “hot” herps. This year you’ll find articles about taipans, boomslangs, rattlesnakes and other mesmerizing animals. And safety tips, of course.


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Every time we publish the venomous issue I remind readers that we in no way mean to endorse venomous reptiles as appropriate pet candidates for every Tom, Dick and Harry Snakekeeper. Venomous snakes (and I’ll throw in Gila monsters and beaded lizards, too) should be kept only by the most advanced, responsible hobbyists.

Not everyone likes our venomous issue. Some people think it could influence beginners to keep dangerous animals — despite our regular warnings that these snakes should only be kept by veteran snakekeepers. Others think it’s a waste of an issue because the audience (those who keep hot snakes) is too limited. Some people are flat-out against the keeping of hot species because they think that doing so invites danger.

On the other hand, we also get positive feedback. The hot issue was created in response to reader demand for articles about venomous snakes. Some say that no matter what we publish, people are still going to keep these animals, so they should have access to advice from others with experience keeping them. Other readers say they would never keep venomous snakes, but they still enjoy reading about them.

I can see both sides, yet I am unsure which — those who like the venomous issue or those who don’t — represents the majority of REPTILES readers, a group I always try to please.

Do you like our special venomous issue or not? Please send your opinions to “Mailbag” by visiting http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Contact-Us/.

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