Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Snakes Alive!

It's been a momentous time at the Biblical Museum of Natural History. Our most prominent live exhibits are undoubtedly our enormous Burmese pythons, Cuddles and Shayna. Two months ago, Shayna delighted us by laying 38 huge eggs. We removed them for incubation, and this week they started to hatch! 

It's truly incredible to follow the process. We had slit open some of the eggs last week to check on their development (it doesn't harm them at all), and we could see the embryos moving around. Some of them popped out this week through the slits that we had made, but the ones in the eggs that we hadn't touched made their own way out. Using a tiny "egg tooth" on their snout, they would make a number of slits in the leathery shell. Then they would poke their heads out for a while, and withdraw back in for a while. Finally, they would emerge completely, measuring a little under two feet in length.

Such an event calls for a celebration. And so this Friday we are hosting a kiddush! See the details below. Im yirtze Hashem by you!



24 comments:

  1. Mazal tov!

    You may be ex-charedi, but when it comes to a kiddush it’s got to be heimish!

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  2. Mazal tov! Did you by chance (or lechatchila) film the hatching?

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  3. What are you going to do with 38 Burmese pythons???

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    Replies
    1. I was going to ask the same question! Somehow, this seems like taking Pru urevu too far...

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  4. Gotta be the coolest "in honor of" kiddush ever!

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  5. I received a strange-looking message this morning asking me to accept your email or to reject it. Know anything about it? Here is exactly what it said:

    "You receive this email because the publisher of the feed Rationalistjudaism imported you to this list, claiming that you were already subscribed to this content in other ways previously. Please confirm this is correct and you want to receive this content by clicking here, or decline if you don't want to receive it."

    The sender was identified as follow.it.

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  6. I'm sure they're pretty cute, but how are you doing Eretz Yisrael a favor by breeding something that is potentially catastrophic to the environment when released to the wild by any one of the 38 people you'll be selling these to? People raise these and then, once they get too big, release them to the wild, where they have no predators and cause havoc, like in Florida.

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    1. They can't reproduce in the wild in Israel.

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    2. Even so, they live for 20 years and even a few of these released to the wild would create havoc. And, won't MOST of these eventually wind up in the wild, once they get too difficult for private collectors to keep?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_python
      Although the species has a reputation for docility, they are very powerful animals – capable of inflicting severe bites and even killing by constriction.[48][49][50][51][52][53] They also consume large amounts of food, and due to their size, require large, often custom-built, secure enclosures. As a result, some are released into the wild, and become invasive species that devastate the environment. For this reason, some jurisdictions (including Florida, due to the python invasion in the Everglades[54]) have placed restrictions on the keeping of Burmese pythons as pets. Violators could be imprisoned for more than seven years or fined $500,000 if convicted.

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    3. "even a few of these released to the wild would create havoc." Huh? How?

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    4. They are voracious predators, with no natural enemies. In the Florida Everglades they have all but destroyed complete categories of local fauna - especially every type of small mammal. Despite squads of semi-professional hunters, who can earn govt funded bounties, they exist in tens of thousands, grow to almost 20ft, and are impossible to eradicate- they even eat alligators. There are various theories about how they got there, but like other invasive species in Florida (iguanas, tigays and other reptiles) , abandoned pets/collectors trophies are the most plausible.

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    5. I assume there's a reason why importing them into the US is illegal. It's because they can reproduce in the wild in parts of the US and become invasive? But in Israel that could not happen when the ones you'll be selling will eventually make their way to Israel's wilds?

      I'm just asking, as for sure that's where they'll wind up.

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    6. They need a humid climate, and an environment of lakes and swamps, to thrive and reproduce. Florida is paradise for them. Israel is Gehinnom for them.

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    7. Anyone else thinking now of Jurassic Park....?

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    8. Still I am curious. 40 pythons are expensive to feed. An elegant solution presents itself, predicated on Burmese python having a taste for Burmese python.

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    9. When released to the wild anywhere in Israel,as they will be, they'll shortly die?

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    10. This sounds like famous last words. Nothing can go wrong... go wrong...

      Very seriously, Rav Slifkin, what are you planning to do eventually with these snakes that you have caused to come into the world?

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  7. It's a cute idea. But since the word Kiddush is relating to kadosh, isn't this taking things too far?

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  8. Kiddush?! On a weekday?!
    Why not make it on Shabbos like everyone else?

    Oh, I get it. It's a fundraiser. I have heard fundraisers being called assifos chizuk, melave malka, protests, concerts, siyumim, but never have I heard being called a kiddush.

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  9. It's a little weird to call it a kiddush. They're animals, not people.

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  10. RNS please do not breed these animals nor give them out to anybody. How do you know the snakes will not evolve to breed in Israel ? Also, are you really sure there are no waterways in Israel that can provide habitat for breeding . NO GOOD WILL COME OUT OF THIS. There will be more reasons for you to be frowned on. The RABBI who was friends of the nachash. ACJA

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  11. Rav Slifkin:

    As a long-time follower and admirer of yours (and small contributor too), I'm asking you not to dismiss the concerns that have been expressed here.

    Think it through (if you haven't already done so), and then spell it out so all can see: What are your plans for the 38 pythons?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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