Red Dirt Diaries: Snake Catchers

Friday, July 31st 2020, 3:41 pm
By: Karl Torp


Two metro teenagers are hoping to teach people about wildlife by bringing it to them.

Sixteen-year-olds Owen McCool and Keaton Knopp met in 4th grade catching butterflies at school.

Now they team up to find much more intimidating animals like spiders and snakes.

“We’ve dealt with too many of them at this point to have a fear for them,” Knopp said.

“You can walk outside and see so many species of different animals,” McCool said.

The Edmond Memorial High School classmates make house calls in their neighborhood seeking out renegade reptiles.

They’ve earned the title of state herpetology champions twice and have their own YouTube channel called “OK Herper.”

You can see what Owen and Keaton have captured at Riversport OKC this summer where Keaton’s dad, Mike, is Executive Director.

“It’s not all about rafting and getting on the water and all that,” Mike Knopp said. “It’s also about our wildlife.” 

McCool and Knopp have 34 different species of animals native to Oklahoma on display inside a shipped container at Riversports.

McCool and Knopp are happy to tell visitors about all the animals and are now working to improve a nature trail at Riversports.

“We want people to realize going outside and seeing these animals is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing,” Knoop said.