Idaho family and snake-infested house

The Idaho home, now known locally as the "snake house," is infested with thousands of garter snakes.

Rexburg, Idaho – It was a dream come true for Ben and Amber Sessions when they bought their five bedroom home in rural Rexburg, Idaho for less than $180,000. It wasn’t long that it turned into a nightmare. The house was infested with hundreds of snakes. Even though these were garter snakes that are pretty harmless to human beings, the sheer quantity present made their life terrible. This story has even been featured on Animal Planet’s “Infested” series. Truly, Ben Sessions felt as if he and his family were living in one of those horror movies. Ben Sessions was terrified that his pregnant wife would miscarry if they remain in the house for long.

Their quantity can be judged from the picture below:

Dozens of garter snakes slither inside a wheat bucket in this still taken from a news report on YouTube about a previous family's struggles to live in the infamous 'Idaho snake house'

“Rob Cavallaro, a wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said the home was likely built on a hibernaculum, a den where snakes gather to hibernate for the winter. When the weather warmed up, the snakes awakened and left the den.” It is like a conflict between humans and animals for survival and for habitation. After a while, the owners gave up and walked away, allowing the house to fall prey to the serpents slithering around in the ceilings and walls. Ben Sessions remembered how he had killed 42 snakes in a day and that was the day when he decided to quit.

In this Fall 2009 image provided by Amber Sessions, Ben Sessions holds up a snake that he caught at the home he purchased near Rexburg, Idaho.

Realty Quest associate broker Todd Davis is now faced with the daunting task of trying to sell it. A pest inspector has estimated they are living in the house in their thousands. Mr. Davis jokingly exclaims, “I think the snakes got into a spot and decided to make it their home, now they’ve invited all their friends.” The video below reveals what Mr. Davis is speaking is very true.

The garters cannot be completely dislodged from the place. Even if attempted, some snakes will always remain and reproduce, restarting the cycle. After the Sessions bad luck, neighbors make sure to warn anyone who comes to see this house not to fall into the trap of some greedy real estate broker.


Ford, R. (2011, June 15). Family driven from home by snakes featured on Animal Planet. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from

The Associated Press. (2011, June 16). Idaho house infested with snakes, ex-residents say. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from Standard Journal Website:

Seattle Times. (2011, June 16). Idaho family abandons snake-infested house. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from The Seattle Times Website: (2011, June 15). Snakes in a House. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from

Posted in WK 5 | 2 Comments

Andre the Sea Turtle Returns Home after a Miraculous Journey of Survival

Andre the Turtle Back to the Sea

Andre, an endangered green turtle, is released into the ocean after a 414 day stay at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Fla on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Andre was found more than a year ago, stranded on a sandbar and split open by multiple boat strikes. He had gashes in his shell, a collapsed lung and severe infections. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center put him through a 13-month rehabilitation that included groundbreaking surgeries. Lannis Waters/The Associated Press

Juno Beach, Florida—After having been reportedly struck by a boat propeller which left him badly injured, Andre the Turtle has finally been returned to the sea. Thirteen months ago, the 177-pound green sea turtle was found in a sandbar with his shell split open, exposing his delicate organs and tissues. The damage to his shell and skin was so bad that his spinal column was already showing. Even more shocking was the fact that three pounds of sand had to be removed from Andre’s poor body. There were also a few crabs found inside. (See video clips below)

Believed to be around 25 years old, this “miracle turtle” as dubbed by many, was immediately transferred by the locals via boogie board to Loggerhead Marinelife Center where he made his arduous path to recovery.

After a long and tough recovery, Andre is set to be released from Juno Beach on Wednesday August 3rd in hopes he will mate during the upcoming breeding season. CREDIT: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

For more than a year’s stay at the center, local community members and people from all parts of the world were able to monitor his recovery through the center’s “Andre Cam,” which broadcasted his activities 24/7.

(Click here to follow other sea turtles’ recovery at the Loggerhead Marine Center.)

Upon arrival at the center, the chances of survival was low. Andre, however, amazingly defied all odds against him and recovered even after being stricken with infection and pneumonia, not to mention withstanding his collapsed lung. Under the care of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Dr. Nancy Mettee, Andre was able to avoid shell shock.

(You can also see other “patients” of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center here.)

Medical technology that was usualy applied to humans helped heal Andre’s wounds. To cover his exposed spinal column and also to fill the gaping holes, the vets used a special reconstructive tissue matrix to aid in cell recovery. They also used vaccum dressings to fasten the healing process.

Andre with vacuum dressings to help speed up his recovery.

According to LiveScience, “The vacuum fights infection and speeds healing by sucking out bacteria, helping white blood cells move into the wound where they help fight infection, and drawing wound edges together to spur healing.” Finally, with the help of local orthodontist Alberto Vargas, braces were installed to create tension and movement in other areas, a similar technology used in human skulls. In an article in Huffington Post, it reported that the technique used has been called “sea turtle orthodontics,” with a technical term of “distraction osteogenesis,” which uses the force of push and pull to cultivate bone growth.

Andre being carried back to the sea by the vets and staff of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Hundreds of well-wishers were present as Andre was returned to the sea on August 3. They all wished for Andre to find a mate in the hopes of perpetuating his species, as green sea turtles are endangered, being hunted for a variety of uses such as ornament, food and oil.


ABC News Video. 01 August 2011. “Injured Sea Turtle Recovers.” ABC News. 08 August 2011 <;

Bells, Nadine. 04 August 2011. “Andre the ‘miracle turtle’ returns to the sea after being struck by boats.” Yahoo! News Canada. 08 August 2011. <; 20 July 2011. “Medical Technology Helps Save Andre The Turtle.” 08 August 2011<;

Moye, David. 03 August 2011. “Turtle With Broken Shell, Andre, Finally Being Set Free On Aug. 3 Thanks To Florida Orthodontist.” Huffington Post. 08 August 2011 <;

Sedensky, Matt. 03 August 2011. “Andre the Turtle, a hard-shelled survivor, returns to the sea.” The Globe and Mail. 08 August 2011. <;

Welsh, Jennifer. 04 August 2011. “Sea Turtle ‘Andre’ Returns Home.” LiveScience. 08 August 2011 <;

Posted in WK 4 | 4 Comments

One-Eyed Shark, Real or a Hoax?


At first glance, this may just be a stuff toy, but shark expert confirmed this as a real shark. (Source: Pisces Sportfishing 1)

Seeing this photo left me in the state of awe and skeptical. My first thought on this was it is simply a gimmick to gain attention and popularity, but as developments transpired on this ‘albino one-eyed shark’ (Pisces Sportfishing 1) I began to believe that this is not a hoax. This blog, which is maintained by Pisces Sportfishing, broke the information about this bizarre shark, which was found in Mexico, over the online world in late June. And in just an instant, it rocked the entire online world and gained the attention of shark experts, “international publications, organizations, and private individuals” (Pisces Sportfishing 1). People who have read the report and have seen the photos were skeptical and questioned its authenticity. I kept myself updated on this shark and found out that this is a real shark based on the accounts published by Pisces Sportfishing. According to entries published on this blog, shark expert Dr. Felipe Galvan debunked the rumor that this weird thing is a joke. Pisces Sportfishing (1) quoted Dr. Galvan as saying. “This is extremely rare, as far as I know, less than 50 examples of an abnormality like this have been recorded.”

Shark expert, Dr. Felipe Galvan holds the “albino one-eyed” shark. (Source: Pisces Sportfishing 1)

Dr. Galvan measures the shark. (Source: Pisces Sportfishing 1)

Pisces Sportfishing conducted an independent investigation. It talked with the “commercial fisherman” (1) credited to finding this unique creature. According to the investigation this fisherman (who was left unidentified) caught a mother bull shark that had this abnormal baby shark inside her. The fisherman shared that he caught the mother bull shark through on what is known in Mexico as “simplera” (Pisces Sportfishing 1). Pisces Sportfishing (1) explains that it is a huge cork buoy attached to a sack of sand that serves as the anchor. Then, a smaller bouy is attached to the main bouy with a horizontal line with hanging hooks. This buoy was set up at Isla Cerralvo. Subsequent events tell that this mother bull shark was caught this “simplera” but it was already dead when the fisherman visited the buoy when he went back to check it. The dead bull shark weighed 286 lbs and almost 10 feet long, according to the fisherman. Off shore, the mother bull shark was “filleted” (Pisces Sportfishing 1). “Ten pups” (Pisces Sportfishing 1) were found inside, which I assumed were already dead at the time they were found. All the nine pups were said to be normal except for this extraordinary one, which color is obviously different and has only a single “eye” (Pisces Sportfishing 1). Pisces Sportfishing, on its July 13 blog about the issue, cited that once the scientific paper is ready, it shall share it with the readers, like me, who are very interested to find out the real score behind this extraordinary creature.

As an analysis, I believe this story, or should I say the information about this shark is very powerful. It’s not every day that we encounter unique things, people, and other creatures, that‘s why every time a unique one surfaces, it gained so much attention and interest from the whole world. Thanks to the presence of internet that makes the sharing of information wide and fast happen.


Pisces Sportfishing. “Freak Shark Puzzles Scientists.” Pisces Fleet Sportfishing. 29 July 2011 <

Pisces Sportfishing. “Cyclop Shark Update.” Pisces Fleet Sportfishing. 29 July 2011 <

Pisces Sportfishing. “For the Skeptics Out There; New Cyclops Shark Photos.” Pisces Fleet Sportfishing. 29 July 2011 <>


Posted in WK 3 | 5 Comments