Facebook page features reptiles

Mary Zanotelli with “Blue” the bearded dragon

Facebook page features reptiles

Scripps Ranch is a pet friendly community with a variety of Facebook pages dedicated to critters that bark and purr.

Another group of pet lovers recently made its cyber-presence known with a page on Facebook: Reptiles of Scripps Ranch, created by Mary Zanotelli, a longtime local resident. This site was designed for a growing fan base of pet owners who snuggle up to creatures that slither, hiss, rattle and – whatever sounds a bearded dragon makes.

Zanotelli believes that reptiles get an undeserved bad rap because they are misunderstood. Her task is to shine a positive light on creatures that sometimes have a very dark reputation.

Stanley is a 10-year-old desert tortoise.

“I feel that snakes in general, and especially rattlesnakes, are vilified by the general public,” Zanotelli said. “I try to dispel the myths about things like snakes and spiders. For example, a snake’s skin is smooth and dry, not slimy and wet. And, when a rattlesnake rattles he is warning you to stay away, it doesn’t want to bite you, it wants to get away. When a person tries to harm a snake, that’s when it really becomes dangerous because now the snake feels threatened, and you take on the form of a predator. Of course, if you try to pick a snake up or step on it, you’ll get bit.”

Zanotelli started the Reptiles of Scripps Ranch Facebook page so people with questions about reptiles would have a source for information.

“We have one lady that has a bearded dragon. She asked why he was digging so much. I told her the reason was because she’s pregnant and wants to lay eggs,” Zanotelli said. “Our page is also a great place for people to share photos of their pet reptiles.”

The fledging Reptiles of Scripps Ranch site has nearly 50 members, all of whom have an interesting collection of roommates. Zanotelli leads the pack with a bevy of animals that could star in their own “Wild Kingdom” special.

“I have four reptiles: two bearded dragons, Nacho and Blue. My snake is a rosy boa named Sage, and Churro is my red footed tortoise,” Zanotelli said. “When I take my rosy boa to class, the kids start out being hesitant to touch Sage, but it doesn’t take long before curiosity takes over and, eventually, they’ll be petting her and asking lots of questions.”

Zanotelli is an environmental educator and nature studies teacher, she said.

“I teach children to understand reptiles. My goal is for children to see those creepy crawlies in a more positive way,” she explained. “I teach children how to be around reptiles safely; we often encounter snakes on our nature walks. We give them lots of space to get away, and then we talk about it and take pictures from a distance. I wish people could appreciate snakes in general for all the good they do for us. Actually, the sign of snakes in our neighborhood is the sign of a healthy ecosystem.”

Reptiles of Scripps Ranch is a public group found at Reptiles of Scripps Ranch

781 thoughts on “Facebook page features reptiles
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