When problems arise in Fordland, Mo, most residents would call City Hall or the Police Department… however, on Wednesday, June 9 they were calling on a citizen for help. When a large Prairie King snake slithered up to the back door of City Hall, Amanda Fisher saved the day.
“It was trying to get in the back door of City Hall… I took it over to the other side of Dollar General and let it go in the grass,” Fisher explained. “Snakes are really misunderstood creatures. They don’t have to be scary.”
This is something that Fisher recites regularly, especially when visiting summer school programs at the local school. One of the teachers at Fordland, Mrs. Valerie Cochara, has invited Fisher to speak to her class about reptile education for the past two years.
“Amanda is known around here as the crazy snake lady… she’s always willing to help others whenever she’s able,” Cochara explained. “Not even just with snakes… she’s just a helpful person. She’s willing to do whatever is needed when it comes to helping others in our community.”
On Wednesday, Fisher brought her red tail boa to visit Cochara’s sixth grade class. The week prior, the students learned about lizards.
“This is my third week back this year for summer school and my second year total,” Fisher said. “It’s so fun to see kids warm up to snakes and drop a lot of the stigmas surrounding them, just because they’re able to be educated on what to do or how to respond when you come upon a snake in nature.”
“I have kids that came back this year just because they enjoyed the reptile education so much,” added Cochara.
“We’ve even had kids that will stay way back and distance themselves from the snakes slowly inch forward as a demonstration goes on and the curiosity usually gets the best of them,” Fisher explained. “It’s like the fear just disappears as they hear more and more about these reptiles. It’s great for the kids.”
Fisher’s red tail boa was coined Boanna by last year’s summer school students, and the name has stuck ever since. She enjoys educating youth about a wide range of reptiles, but has a soft spot for snakes.
“They really do call me the Fordland snake lady, but as long as I’m not at work… and I guess even when I’m at work if it’s close enough,” she laughed. “I am always willing to help relocate and educate others about snakes.”
According to Fisher, those who come in unwanted contact with a snake should always avoid stepping over them, slowly back away and call for help. And if you’re in Fordland, Mo, you can always call her.