Snakes are part of Samoa

Dear Editor,

I am puzzled as to why someone would collect snake eggs and then travel to Samoa to slip ashore at night and release them. 

Three things you should know: 

1) Snake eggs are difficult to incubate, if they are turned over the the embryos often drown, so moving them is difficult. 

2) Australia does not permit the removal of its wildlife to other countries. 

3) Tiger snakes don’t lay eggs, they are live-bearers.

I agree many people do not like snakes but that is not a reason to eradicate them. If that were the case people could seek to eradicate almost any animal they would have a chance, spiders, sharks, and some people are afraid of horses, dogs, so fear and loathing is not a reason for eradication. On islands with no dangerous land snakes there is no logical reason to fear them either.

I appreciate you love Savai’i, I am sure it is a beautiful place, my uncle visited Samoa in the 1950s before settling in N.Z., but these boas are as much a part of Samoa as you are. 

Surely the fauna of Samoa should be protected, against ignorance as much as introductions, and in the story above it is definitely the native boa that needs protection.

During the 1880s the famous Scottish author and traveler Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) visited Samoa and he found the boa on Upolu. The boa is part of your heritage and should be respected and left alone.

Mark O’Shea


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