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Grenada Carniva

Concerns expressed about the use of live snakes during carnival jump up

Linda Straker  Aug 13, 2008

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – The forestry officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Aiden Forteau, has condemned the open abuse of the Grenada Tree Boa, an endangered specie of snake that were used to enhance the act of jab jabs during jouvert morning carnival celebrations when thousands paraded the streets of St George's.

Scientifically called Corallus Grenadensis, Forteau said that the snake has being reducing in numbers for various reasons, and using them as carnival portrayals only helped to further diminish the population in the island’s forests.

He said that Grenada has signed international conventions pertaining to the protection of endangered species, but there are no local laws to protect the endangered snake. “However over the years the Forestry Department has engaged in various educational awareness program which appeared to work until this year.”

The forestry officer added: “The jab jabs once again bought the snakes out from the forests and used them to enhance their acts, I am concern, and I am sure the Department will be very concern because these snakes will not be bought back to the forest but will be left to die on the side of the road in the hot sun.”

Traditionally, the jab jabs will adorn themselves with live snakes as means of enhancing their acts and at the same time to scare persons especially children during jouvert jump up. They are then left to die but the practice became obsolete following a massive campaign years ago.

Forteau warned that these reptiles, which are not poisonous, should not be used for those kind of purposes because among the many good things they do for the ecosystem is they ability to fight the rodent population. “They eat rats, and everyone knows how damaging rats can be to farmers,” he said.

Carnival celebrations concluded yesterday with the parade of fancy bands on the streets.

Concerns expressed about the use of live snakes during carnival jump up
eTurboNews image (copyright 2008)

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