Skip to main content

Running Across Wildlife in Paraguay

On our way to a church assembly this Sunday in Alto Parana, where deforestation of the natural rain forest is occurring at 10% per year, we ran across (literally) this rain forest specimen on highway 6 and killed it. Snakes are common here, but it’s rare that we would spot one so big. It was about 8 feet long. This is what we learned about it, thanks to the expertise of Herpetologist Roy McDiarmid from the Smithsonian Institute:

Dear Norberto,
Yes. I know that snake from other places in Latin America, from southern Mexico south to Argentina. It is called Spilotes pullatus (Tiger Rat Snake). As you can see it is a large (~3 m), diurnal, terrestrial to semiarboreal harmless snake that occurs in forests and especially along forest edges. It kills by constriction and eats rats, mice, squirrels, birds and their eggs. This snake can put on quite a display extending its neck and throat and making lots of noise; primarily this is to discourage predators. Often times it will move with its head help up off the ground as if it were looking around. It is a striking component of the snake fauna of South America and should be protected. Hope this helps.

We are just thankful that we didn't meet this intimidating specimen up close in personal on one of our nature walks!


  1. yuck! Jeff has seen a few snake bite victims. luckily we haven;t seen any up close that are alive!

  2. ( DEJA VU )
    This picture brings back memories when I was younger and used to lived in Raul Pena ,and everytime we used to cut the grass around the house or the church we'd always find a snake hiding in it. luckily nobody was ever bitten.

  3. why did you kill it?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.

I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year

We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Christmas in Paraguay!

If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight.  They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.

Families travel from all over the country, many even return from working in other countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, to celebrate with loved ones. This is us at last year's Kurrle celebration in Asuncion. Festivities are anything but a silent night with fireworks, loud music and drinking cidra (hard cider). 

Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus.  Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts.  Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!

To beat the heat, many Paraguayans go to a river to rel…

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?

That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…