MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- By any scale -- banded, speckled or patchy -- Andi Lehman loves snakes. She's willing to lend the limbless critters a hand -- and a healing one at that.
Snakes are "very valuable, and do a better job of eating rodents than all other rodent-eating species put together," she says, pointing out that rats and other rodents destroy crops and spread disease. Snakes "can go places where owls and hawks can't go. Farmers long have known how valuable snakes are."
Snake venom is used in breast cancer research; snake fangs were the model for the modern syringe, she adds.
Lehman lives in Hernando, Miss., just south of Memphis. For eight years, she has volunteered for the nonprofit, DeSoto-based Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation.