Facebook Group Rules

The following rules apply to our facebook group, Wild Snakes : Education & Discussion.  The reason our group is so successful is because we DO enforce these rules. All of the rules are enforced with a MUTE at staff discretion. That should be taken as a warning. Repeat offenses will result in a BAN. Contacting staff with an attitude results in a BAN.

  • CAPTIVE SNAKES – Captive snake posts / photos / videos will be deleted. Once in a GREAT WHILE, one of the staff will post a captive snake to illustrate a point relating to wild snakes. This is not a green light for everyone to post their pet snake. Repeat offenders face removal.
  • PROFANITY – All profanity will be deleted upon sight and repeat offenders will face removal. To be clear, this also includes abbreviations and symbols used to suggest profanity @#$%$#@*. We have parents and teachers using the group to teach children about snakes. That is more important than allowing profanity.
  • TROLLING, OFF-TOPIC, and SPAM – rude, antagonism, harassment, vulgar, sexual, off-topic, religious debate, or any other negative behavior will be dealt with by the staff as they see fit. You may be MUTED or BANNED according to staff discretion. BEHAVE, STAY ON TOPIC and you won’t have an issue. EXCESSIVE JOKING is considered trolling and distracts from the education process. LAUGH REACTING to questions from people trying to learn is considered trolling. LAUGH REACTING to staff decisions is considered trolling. BLOCKING a staff member gets you removed from the group. Posts that have nothing to do with wild snakes (spam) will be deleted and you will be swiftly banned from the group.
  • VENOMOUS – We do not discuss the treatment of venomous bites, except under certain circumstances where Dr. Greene feels a need to comment. In most cases we will redirect your questions to National Snakebite Support on facebook. We definitely do not discuss medical treatment of humans in any way. Photos / videos of venomous snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae) and medically significant colubrids being handled with bare hands are not allowed (this includes tailing). TUBING venomous snakes should only be done by professionals and if presented as such, those photos are OK. If you are tubing just for fun your photos will be deleted.  If you do post these you will be MUTED for 24 hours without question and repeat offense is a permanent ban. When discussing coralsnakes and their mimics please do not repeat “THE RHYME” in the discussion. It’s worn out, cliched, and distracts from real education. It’s becoming a real problem so please don’t do it.
  • DOGS and CATS – The purpose of WSED  is to educate on and discuss wild snakes. How your pet behaves around snakes is off-topic and beyond the scope of the group. Dog behavior is a separate subject and you should be seeking out a dog behavior group. The same applies for cats, horses, livestock, etc. Please seek a group that specializes in those animals. WSED does not cover the topic of pet envenomation. If you suspect your dog was bitten by a venomous snake, there is nothing we can do for you in the group. Please join National Veterinary Snakebite Support where they have members who are veterinarians experienced with venomous bites. Posting in WSED puts you at risk of getting dangerous medical advice from unqualified people. The subject of feral/outdoor cats is also off-topic and attracts drama and ultimately a lot of angry people on both sides of the argument and a lot of discussion about cats and not snakes. We do not discuss or debate this issue at all in WSED. All cat-related comments and posts will be deleted. The subject of snake avoidance training for dogs is also beyond the scope of WSED. We do have an article by admin Jim Bass (found in our “files” section) that covers the basics, but beyond that we cannot and will not recommend or search for training programs, or entertain a discussion about training. Again, that is a dog topic and not a snake topic. All posts pertaining to snake avoidance training will be directed to our article and closed. 
  • “RESCUED” SNAKES – The subject of injured snakes (and any wildlife) being taken into captivity, for whatever reason, is controversial and tends to attracts strong opinion, drama, and off-topic discussion about captivity. Due to safety and legal reasons, we (the WSED staff) will not recommend taking wild snakes into captivity for any reason. We believe in letting “nature take its course”. Please leave wild animals in the wild.  Posts of this nature will be closed. We encourage you to contact your local nature center and/or wildlife rehabilitation center if you believe a snake is injured or otherwise in danger.
  • ANTI-SNAKE, DEAD SNAKES, HARASSMENT – Any post or comment advocating or recommending the KILLING or INJURING of snakes will result in you being permanently banned from the group. Recommending GLUE TRAPS, POISON such as mothballs, or extermination services will result in a 24 MUTE. Please think twice before posting dead snake photos. Can your question be asked without the graphic images? In most cases the answer is “yes.” Here are some suggestions: ask your question or tell your story without the photos. If you feel you must post the photos, post them in the comments. As an alternative, message a staff member. We are happy to answer your questions. If you are posting only to say “look at this dead snake,” don’t. Please do not post photos/video of snakes being harassed or roughly handled. for example, it is (unfortunately) very popular for people to purposely stress out hognose snakes into “performing” so they can get photos/video.
  • FLUFF – memes, hokey news stories, viral junk, videos, GIFs, and anything else the staff deems as fluff and not educational will be dealt with by the staff as they see fit. This includes deleting or closing comments. 
  • PHOTO / VIDEO POLICY – All photos / video must include at least a common name. If a staff member asks you to include species name please do so. If you fail to do so in a reasonable amount of time your post will be deleted. If you are seeking an identification you need to make that clear. 
  • ADVERTISING – All ads, links to websites, events, gofundme, crowd sourcing, products, or anything that we deem to be just an advertisement with no educational value will be deleted without warning. If you are only here to post a link to your page, group, youtube channel, etc. your posts will be deleted and, if you continue, you will be banned. However, if you are active in the group, answer questions from members, and provide education we consider that a fair trade-off. On occasion we allow an advertisement for an education event. Please contact Mike Van Valen before posting in the group. 
  • SNAKE ID – NO JOKING OR GUESSING – Joking about snake identification, i.e. calling a harmless snake a cobra, will get you MUTED. Please refrain from guessing on identification requests. This slows down the education process and members shouldn’t have to scroll through endless guesses and jokes to get an answer. Guessing about identifications is also not helpful and could possibly lead to a dangerous situation. When you are requesting an identification please provide as much detail as possible, with LOCATION being most important. You need to make it clear you are seeking an identification. If you post a random photo with no question or information it will likely be deleted. Guessing is allowed when a QUIZ is posted. Quizzes are mostly posted by staff members, but if you want to post a quiz please make it clear that it is a quiz, and please provide an answer within a reasonable amount of time. Do not leave a quiz unanswered.
  • LOCATION DETAILS and COLLECTION – Do not ask for, or post, specific locations for snakes, common or otherwise. For example, specific roads, trails, GPS coordinates, etc. is too much detail. State and National parks and forests are okay under most circumstances. We do not discuss nor promote the collection of snakes for captivity in any way regardless of legality. Posts of this nature will be deleted and you will be muted. Continue to break this rule and you will be banned. This includes asking members for locations through messenger.
  • CLOSING/DELETING POSTS – We reserve the right to close and/or delete comments/posts that we deem necessary in order to avoid misinformation, rule-breaking, and interference with the education process. This includes what we consider “Dead Horse” topics, which are topics that have been covered many times over in the group. Dead Horse topics will be closed and you will be redirected to an existing discussion. We also encourage you to read our FAQ which is found in the announcement section of the group. We do not like closing discussions; Our goal is to keep as many discussions open as possible. This is accomplished when everyone follows the rules.
  • COMPLAINTS – Questions and concerns about the group and how we run it are to be addressed respectfully in PRIVATE by contacting a staff member through messenger. All complaints / questions posted on the public group will result in your post being closed. If you contact a staff member with an attitude you will be BANNED. If you post a profanity-laced rant, you will be BANNED.  If you “Laugh” or “Angry” react at a staff decision, you will be muted for 7 days. If you come back and complain or do it again, you will be banned.
  • HELP WSED – The staff works hard but we also depend on members to alert us to problems. This is accomplished by reporting posts, tagging a staff member, or contacting one of us through messenger. With 400 active posts in an average week it is virtually impossible for us to see everything. Complaining is easy, but it is just as easy for members to be proactive and help us keep the group clean and family-friendly. Thank you!
  • Group Entry Keyword – MICRURUS
Related:  Snakebite Management (pre-hospital)


Mike currently lives in New Haven County, CT where he has been studying herpetology (the study of Amphibians & Reptiles) for many years and has worked with state agencies, private agencies and zoos doing herp field work and teaching the public about snake safety and the importance of amphibians and reptiles in the ecosystem. Mike now focuses on herp education through social media and public programs.

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