|One of our canine companions.|
The winding road between Charllottville and Speyside on Tobago can be treacherous for both humans and animals. There are a large number of blind curves and when combined with reckless driving (a very common problem on the island) the results can be lethal. While returning from field work a car with its flashers on had pulled over to the side of the road and the people were standing in the road at a relatively wide spot. We slowed down, and then stopped when we saw the 2.2 m boa in the road. Some of us directed traffic around the snake while others took photographs; all the while being warned by an intoxicated on-looker that the snake would bite us if we got too close. The gravid female was quite tolerant of the flashes and people moving around her.
|The 2.2 m boa constrictor.|
This was the fifth Boa constrictor we had seen during the week. All of the others were road kill, except one that had been dispatched with a machete. After taking a few photos, we dragged the snake off the road.
Boa constrictors are the largest predators on the island with the exception of humans and could be used to help control feral dogs and cats if people would only leave them alone. An education program for residents that emphasizes not killing snakes and not releasing or dumping household pets, as well as keeping them locked up at night, could go along way toward protecting snakes and the forest as well as solving the feral pet problem.