Meridian area children familiarized themselves with the reptiles of Yarbrough's Education Reptiles Snake Show on Thursday between shrieks of excitement and awestruck "wows."
Becky Tucker, the "Snake Lady," displayed harmless and venomous snakes alike, teaching children about the habits of snakes as part of the Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library event, which was held at the Mississippi State University Riley Center.
"If you go into your shed and find a snake, why would a snake want to be there?" Yarbrough said. "He's found his favorite food – a rat or a mouse."
Yarbrough held up a non-venomous milk snake, frequently confused for the dangerous coral snake. Both are red, yellow and black but differ on the order of their colors. Milk snakes' red stripes touch their black stripes and not the yellow while the coral snakes' yellow stripes touch their red stripes.
"Just remember, if red's touching yellow, it'll kill a fellow," Yarbrough said, holding up the coral snake. "But if it's red touching black, it's a friendly jack."
Yarbrough warned children not to ignore snakebites and seek medical attention as soon as possible. But, because of anti-venoms, only an average of five people die annually despite 8,000 snake bites per year.
"More people die by bee stings or wasp stings than snake bites," Yarbrough said.