UPIAPBBCCBSCNNFOX- Martha May Daltry was walking home from school last week in Northfolk, Virginia when she saw something rolling down the road next to her. At first she thought it was a bike tire, perhaps pushed by a friend to frighten her, but nobody was around. Then she saw the head of a large snake let go of its tail and strike at her. Fortunately for Martha May, hoop snake are notoriously clumsy and they for the most part miss their human targets, but when they connect they are lethal.
Hunted to near extinction, the upper Ohio hoop snake that young Martha Daltry saw is a good sign according to the Department of the Interior Spokesperson Ebenezier Golton, "We were sorry for Martha May being frightened, but the fact that we had our first sighting in more than 20 years if confirmed is extremely exciting and we are working with local conservationists near Martha's home to confirm and study the situation of this remarkable creature."
When asked why he was excited to have an obviously aggressive and dangerous reptile making a comeback, Ebenezier said, "You have to look at the whole picture. Nobody likes rattle snakes either, but many kinds are protected. The hoop snake is very slow when it "de-hoops" and is vulnerable to being beaten, stoned, run over, or even bizarre things like they do in Texas, which disgusts me, "snake kissing"!"
Study of the Hoop Snake sighting will take several weeks to complete, but where there is one, Golton says you can expect about 200. "They reproduce rapidly, which I believe is a reaction to their high mortality rates. Time will tell if this is the beginning of a comeback, or the beginning of the end to this extraordinary creature's existence."