YOU are part of the problem...
In recent conversations with other blood/STP keepers, a common theme hit my radar: "People just don't take the time to research these animals anymore." This is sadly undeniable; in a day and age when more good, accurate, tested husbandry information is available than ever before, too many keepers take a bare minimum approach. They glean care information that is "just good enough" from a smattering of social media posts, then almost inevitably run into husbandry issues in a few short weeks or months. Whether the snake won't eat, or has the beginning of an RI, or skin issues from improper conditions, it becomes apparent that something must be done.
At this point, these same keepers often return to social media. Perhaps this time they put a bit more effort into their research and seek out species-specific groups. They join the group, demand to be spoon-fed solutions for their husbandry problem, and give one-word answers while experienced and concerned keepers play 20 Questions to determine the actual issue in hopes of offering a solid solution. Somewhere in this exchange, another recent common theme predictably occurs: the uneducated meet the uncontent.
Armed with memes, gifs, and sarcastic comments, a bevy of more-experienced-yet-less-considerate keepers responds by cutting the inexperienced keeper down. They scoff, they roll eyes, they snark, and they attack. They put energy into responding only to lift themselves up by putting others down. They feign concern for the animal, yet wallow in their apathy and offer no true solution or education. When called out for their apathy, they hide behind comments like "This group has gotten soft," and otherwise voice their disdain for less-experienced keepers, while making zero effort to bolster the very community they pretend to defend.
This group of blood python keepers hasn't gotten soft. THIS GROUP HAS GOTTEN LAZY. While many of you sit around, making your internet sales and rolling your eyes at the "influx of noobs," you do NOTHING to ensure the next generation of keepers knows where to find the resources they need to help their animals live healthy lives. Nobody is asking you to write the content. That's been done. The information is out there. What we are asking you to do - what I am challenging you to do - is to stop being assholes at the expense of other peoples' animals.
Take a moment to educate. Get someone pointed in the right direction. Take the time to have courageous conversations with new keepers. Use logic instead of emotion, and help people understand why they need to do better. BE THE REASON someone is inspired to do better! Show them what BETTER looks like, and help them feel like they can be a part of it, too.
Once you've done that on a consistent basis and the noob keeper blows you off, THEN, it is open season. Until then, STOP BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM. Make an effort before you make an ass of yourself. The information is out there. Just show them where to go. #theconsciouskeeper
This is a post that is long overdue and much needed as of late. I have noticed several keepers and breeders, whether seasoned vets or keeping for about a year, constantly shooting people down. From what I can speculate, some people do not want the blood community to turn into "ball pythons" and some are just protecting a species (and animals) from being an impulse purchase and discarded later.
I do wholeheartedly agree that there is a lack of research done, especially given the amount of information that is available. The first thing that I ever found related to short tails and bloods was this forum. The wealth of information that is available by a few key strokes and searches is insurmountable yet I believe we will always encounter those who want to be spoon fed answers.
There are issues on both sides from my perspective; that is there are those that do not want to listen to the advice and shortcomings of long term keepers and then there are those that are tired of being asked the same questions over and over so they let the ones who have dipped their toes in for a short period of time answer. I feel as if you are part of a community, no matter how frustrating it is, you should be willing to share knowledge and advance the community. I will use you as a perfect example; You helped me several times when I had questions without any hesitation and in the most positive and upbeat way. From that experience, I reflected and realized that this is the way keepers, breeders, hobbyists, or whoever should interact with others who have the same passion.
- Jay (Bloodbath Exotics)
Thanks so much for your feedback, Jay! It is hugely frustrating to watch people ask the same questions over and over again, just as it is frustrating to watch others sit idly by and not attempt to help. The upside to this is that we can fix it. We can all lean in and do better!