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We were dropped from renewal from our insurance of the last 5 years for a very strange reason. They said they had no business insuring snakes over two feet. This was news to us since we had snakes longer than two feet when we first applied and renewed year after year. That doesn't change the outcome and this rant won't change the outcome, but we still wanted to make everyone aware of some of the challenges that come with the territory of caring for exotic animals.

The good news is that in the time it took us to edit and upload this video, and many phone calls later, we have a strong lead on an underwriter and agency that will insure Animal Wonders without excluding any of the animals for their length. (Talk about a shot to the self esteem of Slither the 7' Sonoran gopher snake, poor Slither).

Thank you for all the support we've received during this scary time. We will continue to forge on with educating as many people as we can about these amazing animals! Hopefully one of those people will grow up to become an insurance person and keep species discrimination out of the business.

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Hey guys! We're here at Animal Wonders and, to be honest, it's been a rough week. While I give you a quick run down of the situation, here's a cute baby animal to look at.   We are a fully licensed and insured educational outreach organization. Our mission is to rescue displaced exotic animals, provide them a lifelong home and train those captive wild animals to become ambassadors for their species.   We do educational presentations with these amazing animals to instill a love of nature, connection to the natural world, and educate about biology, behavior, and the environment.   So the important part to remember is that we are licensed and insured... for now, well 38 more days. Our insurance company just dropped us because they said we housed snakes over two feet.   We've had snakes from the very beginning of Animal Wonders. From the moment we started and nothing has changed. So, lets look at some snakes and see what makes them so darn scary that someone might make the decision that would put all of our animals at risk: 78 animals that we have here, some of which are special needs which might not be able to be re-homed and some are endangered, such as our Brushed-tailled bettong.   This is Wilbur, he's a western hog-nosed snake, and he's about 20 inches long. so technically, he would be allowed under our insurance policy, because he is under two feet. It has nothing to do with his behavior. So, his behavior is going to be a little bit nervous being held, so I would never have him be handled by the public.   This is Slithers, he is a Sonoran gopher snake. She is 19 years old and almost seven feet long. She doesn't look that long and that's because she is nice and calm around my arm here and she's just, she's really mellow. She is one of the calmest snakes I've ever had the pleasure to work with, and because she is over the arbitrary two foot rule, she wouldn't be allowed under our insurance. So we wouldn't be able to take her out and do presentations with her, let alone have anyone handle her. Now, we've had some amazing experiences with people that have phobias of snakes and they wont get anywhere near any snake. Except Slither, she's so calm and so, just, amazing, that they are able to overcome their phobia of snakes and come touch her and handle her.    I have three snakes, this is Phineas, Domino, and Cyas and these are motley corn snakes, these guys are super common in the pet trade because their easy-going attitude and they're not very temperature sensitive. So they're a beginner snake for a lot of people who want to get into the snake um..as pets. All three of them are over two feet so none of these guys would be allowed under our insurance.    This is Sandy, the Kenyan Sand Boa she is about 22 inches long so she meets the under two feet arbitrary rule. She is the perfect snake in all regards because she is super easy going, calm, relaxed when being held. She's so calm you can touch her tail and she doesn't mind, you can even touch her head and she doesn't mind. So she's a perfect snake all around.    This is Daisy the Colombian Red Tail Boa. She's about the same length as Slithers the Sonoran Gopher Snake, but her girth is quite a bit bigger. She's about seven feet long right now, but she can get up to 12 feet long, and I would understand an insurance company being concerned about a snake this large. We always have two wildlife educators handling her whenever we're close to the public, no one but me comes close to her head so I can see her behavior at all times.   Of course we are cautious with such a large animal; I'd be cautious when approaching a large dog or horse. This rule, this arbitrary rule of over two feet seems to be based on bias and stereotype of a species such as the reticulated python, Burmese python, or anaconda, instead of actual facts on each species.    Insurance companies are worried about the spread of diseases such as salmonella so to mitigate that risk we use hand sanitizer or washing hands after every interaction with a reptile.    So this arbitrary, under two feet rule, doesn't really have any basis in the reality of handing these animals in general. That's why it's so important for organizations like Animal Wonders to be educating about these animals because the kids we're teaching today are going to become the professionals of every area in the future.