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Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - General Discussion Forums > Herps In The News

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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 04-21-2006, 07:11 PM   #11
hhmoore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill & Amy
I am sorry, but how intelligent is a man that gets bit 163 times and doesn't change the way he handles snakes? Most people would have changed long before or would have been dead. He may have done good or even great things in the herp field, but free handling venomous snakes and bragging about being bitten is not one of them. Hmmmm, who does he remind me of?
Ahhhh, so you are a disciple of that philosophy: stupid is as stupid does
Venom procurement still requires hands on...but that doesn't mean one can't take a safer way of getting there, albeit at the expense of time. (I can't get into this discussion again)
 
Old 04-21-2006, 08:24 PM   #12
Clay Davenport
Quote:
I am sorry, but how intelligent is a man that gets bit 163 times and doesn't change the way he handles snakes?
You can't look at the fact he's been bitten 163 times by itself. Sure that's the only side the media bothers to mention, but this man has performed well over one million milkings in his career. That puts 163 bites in a different light. Sure some of the bites probably could have been avoided, but anyone who grabs venomous snakes that many times is going to have a good number of bites over the course of a career that long.
You have to touch a snake to milk it, an in relation to the sheer number of times he's done it, that's not a bad track record actually.
After doing it for 50 years I'm sure he's become somewhat complacent in his methods. It's hard for someone like us to imagine grabbing a cobra to be a routine everyday thing, but for him it is.
I sure do not question his intelligence, perhaps a degree of his personal responsibility, but not his intelligence.
 
Old 04-21-2006, 08:58 PM   #13
hhmoore
That was exactly my point above, Clay. Performing venom procurement on 50-100 snakes per day is a world apart from keeping a collection of 50-100 venomous snakes. For the most part, the risk can be minimized for routine husbandry, and actual contact rarely has to happen except for medical care (though "tailing" cobras, in conjunction with a hook, adds an element of control that is lacking with either one or two hook techniques). When "milking", you are putting yourself on the firing line with each and every animal...and any lapse of concentration holds potentially lethal consequence
 
Old 04-21-2006, 09:38 PM   #14
Clay Davenport
Well said Harald.
It's real easy for someone who doesn't keep hots, or even does have a private collection of them for that matter, to pass judgment on his methods and compare him to Steve Irwin.
The fact is there is only a handful of people in this country, if not the world, who can even fathom what it takes to perform 50-100 milkings every day, for 50 plus years. As far as I'm concerned those handful of people are the only ones who are qualified to critique his methods.
 
Old 04-21-2006, 10:29 PM   #15
Bill & Amy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay Davenport
The fact is there is only a handful of people in this country, if not the world, who can even fathom what it takes to perform 50-100 milkings every day, for 50 plus years. As far as I'm concerned those handful of people are the only ones who are qualified to critique his methods.
And I wonder how many of them average 2 snake bites a year?
 
Old 04-21-2006, 11:23 PM   #16
Junkyard
I am sure at a young age, many of these bites were from him being extremely careless, even to the point of stupidity. I admire that he has done so much in the way of milking the snakes for the purposes of medical studies and treatment for those who get bit themselves.

There is point when one would look at it and think, after so many year and so many snakes, he must have found an (almost) fool proof way to never be bit again. Then again, he did inject himself with venom, so taking a bite may be something that does not bother him, thus the lack of need to improve his handling skills. Also have a acid trip from a blue krait bite probably lessened the fears even further. To him, being bit must be just another day at the office, his blood cures others from coral bites, imagine what that did to his ego, superman doesn't have a chance.
 
Old 04-23-2006, 06:36 PM   #17
hhmoore
Another thing to bear in mind, is that Bill Haast is a strong advocate of the medical benefits of venom. He attributes venom to his overall good health, so do you really think he is as careful as he could be, lol. Also, at the age of 86, the man was still active in venom procurement - despite disfigured hands (anyone want to guess at how many bites might be attributed to that?) Don't get me wrong - I'm not in favor of public spectacles which feature cavalier handling of venomous reptiles, or grandiose attention to the number of bites received - but the man has made significant contributions, regardless. And he has become something of medical oddity, surviving many of those bites with little more than supportive treatment (perhaps a bit of an oddity in general...lopping off the end of his necrosed finger with garden shears?? It might be time to stop interviewing him, lol)

On that last note - is Bill Haast still alive? That question came up some time ago, but nobody could say one way or the other. (
 
Old 04-23-2006, 09:07 PM   #18
markface
i ran bill haast on google and found alot of stuff on him . he was still alive (and up to 170 bites) as of early 2003 .

here's a link that gives a breif history of mr haast .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Haast
 
Old 04-23-2006, 09:30 PM   #19
hhmoore
yeah - I posted that same link for someone on a different section here, lol.
Thanks for looking - sounds like you saw all the same stuff I did
 
Old 04-23-2006, 09:50 PM   #20
markface
yeah i'm sure i did . i can only aplaud mr haast for the contributions over the years that he has made to the medical world and the world in general . i dont think i could do what he has done for as long as he has done it .
 

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