Today I recieved a shocking news publication from my conservationist friend Vicente Hernandez-Gil in Murcia about the actions of the civil protection agents at Yecla in northern Murcia. These people who were called to deal with three snakes found in an observation building for the prevention of forest fires, said the snakes were “too aggressive”, and thereby had to be killed.
The two snakes to the left of the photo being held by the proud young chap and the lady (or man?) with a rather pleased grin on her face are Ladder snakes (Rhinechis scalaris). Whereas the brave gentleman on the right appears to have battered a Horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) as the highly skilled matador he is. Of course all completely harmless, and this is the kind of ‘trophy’ shot I really don’t like to see.
The leader of the civil protection group said ”one of the snakes raised up almost to our head height, and then spat at us” They clearly must have encountered a three metre spitting cobra from Africa that somehow escaped the scene and was replaced minutes later by a harmless Ladder snake only just over a metre in length. Or are these people just completely stupid?
If you understand Spanish and would like to leave your opinion on this issue you can do so at the article itself, published online by Laverdad.es, one of the best news sources in Murcia, Alicante and Albacete
http://www.laverdad.es/murcia/v/20100622/comarcas/tuvimos-matar-culebras-porque-20100622.html Its hard to believe that members of the ‘civil protection’ had to act in such a poor manner, especially at a place thats main purpose is to protect nature, i.e the observation centre for forest fires.