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Old 09-22-2007, 10:59 PM   #1
do yall ever hold yall venomous snakes?

question do yall whoever holds one
Old 09-22-2007, 11:15 PM   #2
depends on what you mean by hold....
Old 09-23-2007, 01:45 AM   #3
I use tools to handle all venomous unless we absolutely need to restrain the snake by hand for another reason (stuck shed, medicate, lab work) I dont know of any GOOD reason to handle them by hand. Putting yourself at risk to impress someone else is certainly one of the things that has given some hot herpers a bad name. Gee wasn't there just a guy in Oregon that got bit by his rattlesnake that he stuck in his mouth to impress his I guess adding alcohol to the mix isn't wise either !!

James Bear
Old 09-23-2007, 12:54 PM   #4
There are people who do, and there are people who get bit because they do.

Asking someone to admit this is like asking someone to admit they play Russian roulette. You have a better chance to survive a snake bite but you are still playing with your life. This question probably will not be answered by those who do, at least not by the responsable Venomous owners. This hobby is already under fire and admitting that you do only fuels the fire.

Back to my comment that there are people who do. I lived in Panama City for about a year when I was 16 and there is or was a place (Like a reptile farm) that had venomous snake shows. (It's been so long ago I can't remember the name of the place) This guy did a show in a pit of Cottonmouths and was telling the crowd how these snakes are not aggressive and you can even hold them freehand. At this point he picked one up and was holding it like it was nonvenomous. I was shocked, wow. I thought maybe venomous snakes are not as bad as I have been told. At this point he showed us missing fingers and not to try this at home. You will also hear about Pentecostal holiness churches that engage in the practice of snake handling. People have been bit and have died but probably not as many as one would think.

You will hear stories of people holding venomous snakes and I am sure some are very docile. However just like any nonvenomous snake they can turn around for no reason and bite you. Do you really want to take that chance? Ask the guy who put the Rattlesnake in his mouth if he will pick them up again. Not only is he an idiot but he went public and gave the groups who want to bring this hobby down more ammunition.

(Not saying you are or are thinking about) No one can stop you from holding venomous snakes. If you go public about it you only hurt the hobby. You will get many venomous owners pissed off, calling you an idiot, not a responsable owner and telling you that it is people like you that ruin it for the rest of us who are responsable snake owners. (They would be correct) However we all know words don't stop many people from doing what they do. If anyone is thinking of playing Russian Roulette with venomous snakes at least think about the people who will miss you when you're dead. If you don't die do you really want to go through the pain or have fingers missing?

Some people ask me, "Scott, why venomous snakes?"

Think of venomous snakes like saltwater fish we keep in aquariums. Beautiful and amazing creatures and a pleasure to look at but you just can't hold them. "But Scott, the fish can't kill you." Well I know there are poisonous fish that we keep and I guess they can't kill you (I don't know my saltwater fish well enough to know) but I don't grab a venomous snake just like fish owners don't grab a Lion Fish.

I'm sure the guy in Oregon was told he was an idiot way before he got bit in the mouth as he bragged that he held them way before he got bit. It only takes one bite however to get you close to God. He felt they were docil enough to handle and found out it only takes one mistake. However he should of kept his mouth shut. Not only did he go on CNN and tell the world what an idiot he is but he also gave ammunition to those who want to ban VR as a hobby.
Old 09-24-2007, 02:29 AM   #5
I do take mine out. Do not think it would be wise to show pics of me doing so. I am sure I would be flamed, but mainly because I do not want to encourage others to do so. I have over 20 years experience & only bitten once. It was along time ago & I had been drinking. I do not drink anymore(almost 10 years). I had to force feed a baby rattler this morning. It was one that I could not get to eat since it was born in July. Usually after I get them to taste the rodent a couple of times, they will take them on their own after that. I do not "hold" them to prove anything or to show off. I admitingly take some chances & do not advise anyone to do some things I do.
Old 09-24-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
Ever so briefly I was able to touch the tail of a King Cobra in an EXTREAMLY controled setting (tubed) and that was fine with me but I dont see my self free handling any hots any time ever.
Old 09-24-2007, 09:57 PM   #7
I do NOT free handle my hots. I made a decision to NOT get bit some 20 years ago. Factor in injury to yourself, the likelihood that animal control will most likely destroy the snake, as in most states, hospitals are required to report such bites to animal control, in many states as well, animal control will destroy the snake as a matter of routine or policy or both. The fuel given to state's legislators that more often than not, belive that the general public can not be trusted with or protected from venomous snakes will only further their cause in legislation that will more than likely prove an outright ban in the future.

Now, where I live, keeping native hots is fairly popular, and, I am aware of TWO persons that free handle their hots, and I have mentioned that you MAY get away with it 99 times out of a hundred, and then, GOTCHA! And, over the summer, one WAS bitten and got to visit Dr. Sean Bush at Loma Linda University Medical Center for some very costly treatment and pain in abundance, not to mention the threat to his life the bite provided. Worth it?

Scott Crawford, AKA Kingetula explained things quite wonderfully describing hot keeping akin to fish keeping. Fish keepers don't go about hoisting their fish out of the aquarium to pet, they are viewed, fed and enjoyed within the confines of their respective enclosures. The same is true of hot snake keeping.

When Hot snakes MUST be moved about, as responsible keepers, we employ tools, for our safety and that of the animals we keep.
Old 09-24-2007, 10:37 PM   #8
today I was getting pics of some of the rattlers & it reminded me of this post. Anyhow, while I was taking the pics, I turn around for a second & it was like the snake knew it was her chance to go! I took a pic before telling her to get back in her tub Anyhow, that is why you must keep full attention on the snakes @ ALL times

The escape taking off around the mojave rattlesnake enclosure

the pic "in the tub" C. organus

Mojave "green" pic...I think the Nor pac is greener though

Old 09-25-2007, 07:13 PM   #9

Nice looking snakes you have.
Old 09-25-2007, 10:51 PM   #10

Jerry, excellent object lesson depicting that even when all seems to be going right, maintained situational awareness helps in preventing a hot keeper fom experiencing "YIKES ENCOUNTERS". Thanks for sharing that pic, it might just help save someone from complacency nips. And, it isn't hard to become complacent when visiting the hots and all has gone without incident 100 times, yet, there are those moments when the little nippers surprise you with sudden escapes whilst working about. Alas, happy ending though!

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