Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
Welcome to the Pike County Times.com Snake Page.

If you have a picture of a Pike County event or Pike County people that you would like to show off, email it to: editor@pikecountytimes.com with a description that I can place under the picture on the We are Pike County web page.

Left: Two young volunteers get to see snakes up close and personal.

Right: The Hershey's Kisses pattern on this snake distinguishes it as a copperhead.
Left: Steve Mulder volunteers to hold a snake.

Right: What a cute baby alligator!.
What Use Is a Live Snake?

Jason Clark is a regular visitor during the annual Summer Reading Program at the Barnesville Library. Parents and children alike look forward to his menagerie of reptiles every year. Well, some parents probably more than others because I am one of the reluctant ones though many snakes around my house owe their lives to Jason and Sarah Clark of Southeastern Reptile Rescue. The line began at the closed door of the library more than 45 minutes before the program time and by the time the room was fully seated, some were reluctantly turned away because there just wasn't any more room to sit.

Jason gave us a lesson on snakes and alligators and we learned without realizing how much we were learning at the time. Tidbits of wisdom that many wouldn't think about include: bird feeders attract sweet little birds... and squirrels and chipmunks and mice... and snakes that eat them. The more harmless snakes you have, the less chance you have of seeing venomous snakes. King snakes eat venomous snakes like copperheads and rattlesnakes. Food and shelter bring snakes to your yard. Clean it up and the snakes will go (to your neighbor's yard!!) somewhere that they have food and shelter.

Other bits of wisdom include: Watch where you place your hands and your feet when you are outside. Look for the tell-tale Hershey's kisses on a copperhead and stay away from them. There are 41 types of snakes in Georgia and 6 are venomous. And sometimes non-venomous snakes can make themselves look like venomous snakes.

Southeastern Reptile Rescue had recently gone an alligator capture and release in Macon, Georgia that netted a 9 foot 4 inch, 350 pound alligator from underneath someone's front porch. Incidentally, Jason just happens to be married to the first and only alligator trapper in Georgia. He closed out the program with a cute little alligator for everyone to see.

For those who say that the only good snake is a dead snake, here are some strong arguments to make you think otherwise. Copperhead venom has been shown in lab tests to reduce breast cancer tumors by up to 70%. Malayan Pit Viper venom has ingredients that have shown promise in breaking blood clots that would be very beneficial in treating stroke victims. An enzyme derived from cobra venom may hold the keys to finding cures for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Here are links to these eyebrow raising discoveries that may change your mind. Click here to visit Snakes R Us.com. Thanks to Jason Clark for another fantastic snake education program!


Snake Exhibition at the J. Joel Edwards Library

Jason Clark from Southeastern Reptile Rescue came to the J. Joel Edwards Library as part of the summer reading program. This was a family affair with Jason's wife, Sarah, and their two children attending as well as his Mom and Dad and sister and her children. The youngest member was just one month old.

Jason told a story of his love for snakes since the age of 7. He was not quite a normal kid since he wanted a snake. He wanted a snake so bad that he found one out in his back yard and brought it in to show his Dad. He was promptly told to let it loose before his Mom saw it.

So what did he do? What does any not so normal 7 year old do that has a snake he's supposed to let loose? He played with and got bitten 9 times! Then he went inside to show his Mom the snake and his 9 snake bites with blood dripping down his arm!

Jason has come a long way from there. At the age of 14, he went on his first snake rescue call with the Sheriff's Office. The officer was afraid of the snake (what sane-minded individual is not?!) and Jason just bent down and picked it up. From there on out, he got a pager--that still goes off at all hours of the day and night--and began rescuing reptiles.

He and his Dad, Mike, brought out all kinds of snakes for the kids and adults in the room to view. The 38 kids in the room were probably a lot more excited to be in the room than their parents for the most part. From non-venomous to the extremely venomous, Jason presented snakes and alligators for the kids to see.

All the while he was working to instill a healthy respect of these creatures in all who attended this program. "Leave them alone, never try to catch or kill a snake, an you don't have to worry about being bitten," Jason said. He even got bitten a couple of times by a harmless snake and let the kids see the blood on his arm. The kids were very concerned about him getting bitten.


Do you know the difference between a cotton mouth and a water snake? We learned the difference and it was not what you would think. Levi the cotton mouth wanted nothing more than to get away from Jason but was content to curl up in a protective stance and slither back into his box when given the chance. The harmless water snake is very aggressive and moved fast around the part of the room that he was allowed to move around in.

We got to see the difference between a corn snake and a coral snake too. One volunteer got to see the difference from WAY up close. She thought it was pretty cool and even volunteered to help hold the 90 pound Burmese python who came to visit. That was one BIG snake.

And I learned something new at the exhibition. Jason said it was ok to run away screaming when I see a snake instead of freezing and backing away slowly. I can do this!


One boy even took a moment to pet the python after everyone else had sat down. "Look! I got to pet him!" he said. Those with him were probably not nearly as thrilled as he was. Adult supervision was closeby in all instances since many of the pictures have Jason or Mike or Kayla Owensby's feet in the picture to ensure that the children and the snakes did not get injured during this exhibition.

Kayla has been helping Jason with exhibition for a while. She grew up with reptiles and wants to be an animal control officer in Pike County.

Jason and Mike showed us several alligators. He told us about Tim's alligator call where Tim showed some common sense and Jason was just Jason and went into the water after the 7 foot gator. One rescued gator even got to sit through a movie before going home when a call came in during a date with Sarah.

Where do rattlesnakes live? Anywhere they want to! (Thank you Don Bailey for that very true statement last night!) Rattlesnakes live here in Pike County but we normally don't see them. Jason showed us how the timber rattler got louder as he approached and calmed down as he walked away from her. She was very happy when she was allowed to go back into her locking crate with "poisonous snake" written on the outside.

We need to watch where we put our hands and feet when we are outside so we don't have an unfortunate encounter with a snake that really wants nothing to do with us. Jason stressed that even venomous snakes have a use in today's society because their venom is being used to make medicines that may one day heal a variety of human diseases.

Visit the Southeastern Reptile Rescue website below for upcoming events: Snakes R Us.com


There were a lot of kids in this room!
Jason Clark from Southeastern Reptile Rescue is holding the snake on a metal stick. His wife Sarah stands in the background.
Snake Exhibition at the Barnesville Library

Would you volunteer to be one of 152 children and adults in a small room with 15 or more snakes and 2 alligators? What if only a few of the snakes were poisonous?

Southeastern Reptile Rescue gave a one hour snake demonstration at the Barnesville Public Library on Monday night to kick off the Summer Reading Program. Of course my kids wanted to go so let them sit with all the kids and I'm taking pictures--along with Laura Geiger from the Pike Journal Reporter--far too close to these reptiles that scare me to death!

We were in good hands though. Jason and Sarah Clark and his Dad Mike Clark, were taking care of us. There was only one bite (11 teeth marks and tiny bit of blood) from an agitated non-venomous snake on skin and several bites into a pair of snakebite proof boots from a Timber Rattler. Yes, I was WAY too close to regular snakes and here we are in the same room with a Timber Rattler!

Southeastern Reptile Rescue specializes in reptile education. Jason Clark is a police officer in a neighboring county and goes out on 911 calls on a regular basis to remove snakes from inside of homes or pick up an 11 foot, 43 1/2 pound Burmese python that is wrapped around a guardrail on a road in Spalding County. She's now 50 pounds and very docile (for a now 12 foot, 50 pound snake that eats 5 rabbits a week!) and doesn't mind being showed off and petted by a bunch of kids.

Snake education includes teaching kids and adults what to do when they encounter a snake. The first rule for kids if they encounter a snake is "Do not touch it and tell an adult." Jason told the adults in the room that "Most people get bit trying to kill snakes."

Out of the 41 snakes in Georgia, only 6 are poisonous. The saying "Red on black, friend of Jack. Red on yellow, kill a fellow" tells how to know which snakes are poisonous and which are not. If the red stripes touch black stripes, it is not poisonous. And it probably eats those that are poisonous along with rats and mice that I don't want living in my house. If red and yellow stripes touch, watch out!

Jason even told us how poisonous snakes are being used to find cures for disease such as copperhead venom in research for breast cancer. Mike and Jason let the kids pet a couple of baby alligators and told us that there are over 200,000 alligators in Georgia. And we were the first group to see the albino Timber Rattler that was found in Lamar County and one of two in the Southeast.

Visit the Southeastern Reptile Rescue website below for upcoming events: Snakes R Us.com


This rattler is poisonous and she was biting Jason's boot when I took the picture. Jason had on special boots that extended up to his knees for protection from snake bites.

This is the 12 foot, 50 pound Burmese python that was wrapped around a guardrail on a road in Spalding County

This was the first public appearance for the albino rattle snake. It could not have survived in the wild with its orange and white coloring.

The python didn't mind being petted in its box after the show.

Mike is holding one of the two alligators that the kids got to pet after the show.
Close Encounters of the Reptile Kind

Who ya gonna call if you see a big snake wrapped around the guardrail of a bridge? What about when the big snake turns out to be a really, big snake that is an 11 foot, 43 1/2 pound Burmese python that either escaped from or was released into the wild by its previous owner?

Jason Clark of Southeastern Reptile Rescue should be at the top of that list. This close encounter actually happened on March 15, 2007 in Spalding County and is chronicled on Southeastern Reptile Rescue's website at SnakesRUs.com.

Southeastern Reptile Rescue specializes in the removal and rescue of venomous and exotic snakes. Southeastern Reptile Rescue is also a state licensed reptile exhibitor and works to educate the public about snakes through its website and reptile exhibitions.

Georgia is home to 41 types of snakes. Only 6 breeds of snakes are poisonous. There is a detailed list of both venomous and non-venomous snakes on the website with pictures to help identify them.

Want to have a snake-free yard? Want to know what to do if a snake-bite occurs? Check out the website for detailed information about snakes and gain knowledge that just might give you the courage not to kill a non-venomous snake if you encounter it.

I was invited to visit the retile house but declined because I am terrified of snakes. "You are the kind of person that we want to educate," Jason said. I chose to learn through the website though I've had some up close experiences with the real thing of late.

I've encountered 2 snakes in the past 2 weeks that would have been headless if I had not gained some knowledge from Southeastern Reptile Rescue's website. Overpopulation of rodents or non-venomous snakes? It's a tough choice for me-- and I would rather have neither so I'm clearing out the back yard in a BIG way!

If you have a close encounter of the reptile kind and need a snake specialist, call Jason Clark at 404-557-2470.


Click here to visit Snakes R Us.com