I am by no means a fan of the press and what they are continually striving to be. Negative sensationalism because we have slowly been molded to that that’s what we must expect from them. The more morbid, dramatic and inflated the better. It is little wonder we are in a continually negative world, taking it the news in its various media methods is continually negative. In todays day of technology we are being bombarded by this negative mindset, how can we wonder why things are more negative as time goes one.
In defense of some reporters they may want to do this, but they know they have no choice cause most people will scroll over a non dramatic headlines. These guys make their money from ‘reads on digital media’, so its their income. Following a world trend to get your bread and milk on the table or compromise income. Lets be fair it would take a really strong person to go against the trend and a good family trust behind them.
YouTube is not innocent in this either although not truly press. YouTubers are blamed for using clickbait, but again for a lot, this is their income, or a good chunk of it. To get the views, ads, etc…they need to be picked up by the algorithms and peoples clicks to be noticed and near the top. Its a similar concept of inflated titles to get noticed amongst the pack.
The press are also sometimes at fault for incorrect details and I am sure this extends beyond reptiles. I am not referring to the aspect of exaggeration, but that of pure facts. For example many years back a reporter claimed I removed a poisonous Rinkhals. I will hand it to the Midrand Reporter they did publish an erratum to the article, but the editor initially did not see what the hassle was and why would it make any difference. In am a broad way, maybe, they both can put a human/ animal in trouble. They however have very different meanings. Lets just call ‘Mark’, ‘John’. They both male names, close enough. This type of information the press world wide should take responsibility to issue the correct information as it is not just a story, people can learn off that back of it as well. No point teaching the incorrect thing. Imagine how well an article would be received if it was said 2 + 2 = 3, or the afrikaans translation of ‘today’ is ‘gister’. Some items should just be done correctly, even if the reporter has to sensationalize their headline to get noticed, don’t use things like ‘Poisonous Snake bites Dog’ or whatever. It’s venomous.
Now for those who don’t know. Venom can be ingested with no impact on the body as it needs to enter the blood stream. Put another way the animal or insect needs to bite or sting the person/ animal. A poison cannot be ingested or alternatively put, if the human/ animal bites it and becomes ill or dies it is a poison. Effectively the inverse. There are less common instances that can occur, often through exposure, such as hyper-allergic reactions to say spitting cobras (more commonly). This can result in someone having difficulty breathing just walking into an area where this species is kept, because of continued exposure to micro-particles of venom in the air that’s inhaled. Other cases may just be a straight forward allergy like people have for bees or shellfish. If working regularly with venomous species, especially spitting species try take additional precautions where possible to minimise contact with venom. Gloves while cleaning cages, move the snake as quickly as possible to minimise spitting, or better yet a shift box and gloves to remove faeces. Even better, a scoop as it is possible for a fang to be in the faeces and this could be the equivalent to a bite if the fang penetrates the skin and there is venom. Venom Central has discussed this in one of their videos.
Additional safety precautions never go amiss in ensuring your health when working with these species. It is less so with non-spitters before I take flack, but safety still is the better route for yourself and the hobby. You don’t want to be that sensationalized headline that causes further damage to the hobby and more attempts to impose harder legislation on the industry. I know its less cool, but a bite and/ or death is far less cool, especially to your family.
Enjoy responsible keeping.