Kent man aims to help people overcome fear of snakes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2023 at 4:56 pm

85 see snakes and reptiles up close at Hoag Library program

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Ken Kuehne of Kent, left, brought 12 exotic snakes and other reptiles to Hoag Library today as part of a summer reading program. Kuehne and his daughter Amanda, right, let these kids hold an 11-foot-long Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor that weighs about 60 pounds.

Kuehne owns Know Your Rep and does events with snakes and reptiles at schools, community organizations and businesses, and at parties.

He said snakes are often portrayed as villains in movies.

“We have a learned fear of snakes,” he said. “I want to get rid of that myth.”

Layla Hanna and her mother Jessica Hanna touch one of the snakes at today’s presentation at Hoag Library. About 85 people attended the event, the most popular so far in the summer reading program.

Michael Magnuson, the Adult Services Librarian, built up the courage to hold the big boa.

Amanda Kuehne lets the kids touch a jungle carpet python that is about 9 feet long.

Ken Kuehne also brought a baby alligator to today’s show outside on the lawn at the library. He gets nose to nose with the alligator which has 80 teeth, 40 on top and 40 on the bottom.

He said the alligator has been trained to respond to his voice commands. Alligators can slow their heart rate down to two or three beats a minute to stay under water for up to an hour.

Elizabeth Tuttle, the Youth Services Librarian, gets a close look at the alligator.

Willa Diegelman, 2, of Waterport touches the scales on two snakes. Willa’s mother Katherine is next to her.

Katherine Diegelman of Waterport takes a turn holding the mammoth boa.