Sunday, December 31, 2006

Boa Constrictor on stage

Sometimes I receive visitors who want to see a snake in the worse way. I always say that if you are looking for a snake, you'll never see one. But just when you least expect it, they catch you by surprise. Better that way than you catch them by surprise! In September of this year I was finishing up a tour with a small group of professors and their ex-students from Springfield College in Massachusetts when I heard someone say in a very emphatic way, "Chuck, look back here, quick!" The tone of the comment told me that someone had spotted something important, so I looked back too. Chuck (one of the professors) and I had walked right by a boa constrictor that must have been between 2-3 meters in length, the largest I have ever seen at the Bosque. Someone grabbed the snake by its tail to keep it from disappearing into the woods and photographs were the order of the day. I had forgotten to take my camera on the tour that day so someone promised to send me an image via my e-mail address. It never happened, of course, but I still have hopes that Manolo Aquino (a professor at the University of Pará-Santarém, who was hosting the group) will make good the promise.
The photograph I present to my readers was actually taken at the Bosque in May of 2005, by Ashwin Budden, graduate student at the University of California-Berkley. The snake was brought to us in a cardboard box by one of our neighbors, who had captured it in his manioc field. It was a very young boa constrictor, maybe 16 inches in length. I'm not sure what my neighbor thought I was going to do with the snake but he accepted the proposal that we release it back to woods.

1 comment:

GringoGene said...

Didn't know you had Boas at the Bosque. Seems the Bosque is a mini-Amazon.