Third grade students at Jefferson Intermediate had the opportunity to learn about reptiles with the help of Midwest Carpet Pythons, which showcased their collection of snakes and other reptiles.
Tristan Wills, who founded Midwest Carpet Pythons was glad to be able to pass on valuable information about reptiles to the students at Jefferson. He believes that education is important because it can help save lives.
“I think it’s very, very important for kids to understand the truth behind snakes,” said Wills. “A lot of people are scared of them; they’re found in the yard, and sometimes there’s venomous ones. So, it’s important to know that not all of them are venomous, and to know which ones are. They should also know that with the right mindset, and the right care, they can be very good animals to keep as a pet.”
Wills’ passion for reptiles came from his first experience touching a snake. He recently moved to Gage County to be able to begin collected a wide variety of pythons and boas.
“I had a friend who had a snake, and I held it, and I was scared,” Wills said. “So, I understand the fear of them, but after I held it, I thought it was awesome. It became an addiction. I started breeding snakes. Ever since then, I’ve been educating people about them.”
One thing that Wills emphasized is that snakes do many beneficial things for the ecosystem, which is why he believes they should not carry such a negative connotation.
“Lots of people have snakes, but don’t know how to properly take care of them,” said Wills. “I’m here for the community to help in that situation too. I’m always available if people have questions about snakes, or even getting snakes out of the community that don’t belong there. Just because I like snakes doesn’t mean they always belong there. I help get them out of those places too.”
Here is some video from Wills’ presentation: