BLUM, Texas — Off a gravel road near Blum, the Jones property sits. There, you'll find Tim Jones fishing at his pond.
"I like that pond. I love water and I love what’s around the pond. Frogs, toads, turtles, snakes," Jones said.
Jones worked in zoos for a large portion of his life. In fact, he's the Director Emeritus of the Cameron Park Zoo. Now, he gets his fix for herpetology at his private pond. His pond isn't just a relaxing spot—it's home for a friend he's had for about five years: Big Bertha.
"I don't name animals usually, but there's something about her," Jones said. "I started calling her Big Bertha and then I said well, 'Bertha May sounds better.'"
An avid fisher, Jones started sharing his catches with the local reptiles.
"They'd come eat it and I kept on until they got closer and closer to me," he said.
Some of the reptiles got very comfortable.
'A snake came from underneath, came up real slow and took that fish out of my hand," he said. "I just about passed out."
Jones knows water snakes aren't a danger.
"That was my life, working with snakes," he said.
But he still draws the line with Bertha May.
"She'll come right up my leg and take a fish and she'd crawl in my lap if I'd let her," he said. "They have got little, little teeth that are sharp. About 160 of them and they hurt when they bite."
The pond is just a stone's throw from his house.
"I go every day or every other day that I can," he said.
After a little fishing, Jones greets Big Bertha with a bite to eat.
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