LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.16 27
OCTOBER 22, 2016 MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN
"I started doing things
normal teenagers do,
and my parents didn't
know what to do with
me," Will Bird says.
"When I started bringing home snakes, they
said, 'Yeah, this is good. This keeps you out of
trouble.'" Bird, who works with snakes at the
Louisville Zoo, is co-founder of the Kentucky
Herpetological Society, which has him and
his partner, Phil Peak, cataloging snakes
throughout the state (pictured, from top:
mud, rough green, red milk, cottonmouth).
"We found the first northern pine snake in the
Mammoth Cave region since 1969," Bird says.
"We've been bitten thousands of times,
but neither of us has ever been bitten by a
venomous snake," he adds. "It doesn't hurt.
It's not bothersome at all." He says snakes will
spray "this horrible-smelling, horrible-tasting
predator deterrent over whatever's trying
to hurt them. Honestly, I would rather take a
bite. The musk kind of stays with you all day."
— Jenny Kiefer