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December 21st, 2010:

Hoop snake sighting in Kanata right before Xmas: ain’t that grand?

Warning ! Warning! Warning!

A reader from Kanata, Ontario (just outside Ottawa) sent me this photo of snow hoop snake tracks AND what appears to be a baby hoop.

Hoop snake and baby hoop, Kanata, Ontario: December 20, 2010.

In the lower right, one can see where the baby hoop rolled off its mother and travelled on its own for a while.

Research (1) has indicated that baby hoops, at about 2 weeks of age will bite their tail and roll with the mother hoop… alternating between rolling on it’s own and hitching a ride inside it’s Mom’s hoop. It is very, very rare to see physical evidence of this phenomenon; which is what makes this photo all the more fascinating – and frightening!

This means that they are multiplying, folks!

In spite of the best efforts of many of us in our community, the damned things are proliferating! Thanks a bunch to all those morons at PETA who campaigned successfully against our movement to have these scourges declared a threat to national security and thus ensuring their eventual demise! Fools! All of you!!

So, and pay attention, if you live in south Kanata or Stittsville, PLEASE be careful! You all know what precautions to
take – we learned this back in Grade 2: wear high boots, avoid lingering at the bottom of hills (very important as these snow hoops love the City’s toboggan hills) and always take care when clearing snow off your car as hoops like to lie under the snow on car hoods.

If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer. We don’t want any horrible tragedies at this time of the year, so take care out there!

1. Much of the seminal research in this field was done by Professors Cameron, Lavergne and Fritzsche in the mid 80’s. But subsequent work has been carried out by Herring, Clavet and Vermette (Harvard, 1993), Dewis and Grant (Cornell, 1996), DeLeon and Sawicz (University of Warsaw, 2006). The most recent research was carried out by van Wesenbeeck in 2007 and published posthumously in 2008 after his much publicised demise brought about by falling into a Dutch hoop snake (Farancia abacura) breeding ground.