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Safe Snake handling 101

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just an FYI of what NOT to do.

This turned out ok but it could have turned very bad, fast.

I was feeding my snakes tonight and my DD was helping me. Now my DD has been raised around the snakes, and is well skilled with them however, she still has fears if she drops she's scared to pick it up.

And most of you on this board know that I had surgery on my left hand, and have very little strength in it. I don't wear my brace around home, but have to wear it out, or when i'm doing anything.... I was not wearing it as DD was doing most of the work.

Down to feeding my Brasilian Rainbow boa....
link to a pic of one: http://www.freewebs.com/nickvelez/20...0_173238AA.jpg Mine is slighter bigger....she's 6.5' of pure muscle...I've raised her since she was 2mos old, she is 6yrs old and eats fully grown rats. (if you've ever seen a fullgrown male pet rat, then you can get a good feel for her size)

Put the rat in her container, and left her for 10mins.... she did not eat the rat but I had to move her to a clean container. She hasn't eaten in about 6wks, which means she can be nippy.

This is where I made a mistake, several.

So I hooked her: this is a snake hook http://tongs.com/markosheasignatures...0inchhook.aspx it makes handling them safer for all concerned if you know how to use it right.

Keep in mind, I'm one handed as far as strength goes, and that one hand is not very good.

Hook her with my right hand, grab her with my left (MISTAKE).
She's not happy and comes off the hook trying to bite me, putting all her weight on my left (surgery) hand. I of course can't hold her and my hand lets go (MISTAKE)
Now she's on the floor, and pissed off, with the smell of rat in the room.
I hook her again, have no choice now, I can't let her free roam the room with all the wiring and such. Hook with right, grab her with left. (MISTAKE)

She constricts my left hand, crushing the area of my scar, my wrist and the palm of my hand. Hurt like heck. She of course gets loose again as I remove the hook to get her off my other hand.

I did eventually get her into her container, after playing hide and seek with her. She's uninjured...my DD is uninjured....me however.....My hand is swollen, throbbing and very sore. Nothing is broken, but it could have been.

The reason I'm sharing is so others can learn from my mistake.

The whole situation was a mistake...... I should NOT have tried moving her without my husband here considerring I only have 1 semi-good hand and my DD would not be able to get the snake off of me due to fear. she has the strength, but not the mentality.

I should have thought it through, and waited till DH got home on Friday instead of doing this.

Lesson: SAFE SNAKE HANDLING. Any snake larger than 4ft and heavier than 3-5lbs, have 2 able bodied persons around when handling.

In this case, I got off lucky. If she had used her whole body to constrict my arm, I would be at the hospital now. If she had actually bit me, I could be at the hospital now getting stiches.

I assumed she would hold still as normal when I moved her.

I was wrong.
post #2 of 9
ahhh! oh my gosh that is so scary! glad that YOU and the snake are ok!!!!!

Live and learn!
post #3 of 9
Oh no Chris! I hope you didn't do permanent damage to your hand.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyforinfo View Post
Oh no Chris! I hope you didn't do permanent damage to your hand.
I don't think so.... I made sure I could/can move it with no sharp pains....It feels completely muscular, and inflammed, throbbing like a bruise... I'll bet there might be a bruise tomorrow.

She only held on for a min or so, thankfully...
post #5 of 9
Mistakes happen, don't beat yourself up over it. The thing is we learn from them. I have and even have the scars from some of my mistakes with the big cats I know I practice safe handling with my animals, but every now and then I don't think and that's when I pay. I am happy that nothing more serious happened
post #6 of 9
I am one of those people who have the unreasonable fear of snakes so I have never handled one. I am glad it turned out okay. I remember on one of the animal cop shows on Animal Planet, I think it was Detroit, they always have two people handle the big constrictors. They said if the snake started to wrap around the person handling it they would need a second person to get it off of them. It sounds like you were very lucky.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberThe Bobcat View Post
Mistakes happen, don't beat yourself up over it. The thing is we learn from them. I have and even have the scars from some of my mistakes with the big cats I know I practice safe handling with my animals, but every now and then I don't think and that's when I pay. I am happy that nothing more serious happened
Thanks John... I appreciate knowing that I'm not the only responsible one who has made mistakes.

I hope posting, helps others realise the dangers any constricting snake can pose.

Denice: I did have 2 people, but.... not the right people....should have been my husband and I, my husband would not panic when the snake came unhooked whereas my daughter did. Also, I NEED to remember that I only have one hand when it comes to things like that.

I do normally have 2 adults when handling my 2 biggest snakes...this one is considerred a slender boa, and would have been fine if I had 2 good hands.

Just goes to show, even experienced keepers make mistakes.
post #8 of 9
Scary, and you know what you are doing!

I've handled big snakes (biggest was a 17 ft albino python - but no way by myself. Just holding part of her (3 people) was enough to know her weight and strength.

I prefer the corn and milk snakes (4-5 feet at the most). Would not own anything bigger

Glad you are ok now.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
I am one of those people who have the unreasonable fear of snakes so I have never handled one. I am glad it turned out okay. I remember on one of the animal cop shows on Animal Planet, I think it was Detroit, they always have two people handle the big constrictors. They said if the snake started to wrap around the person handling it they would need a second person to get it off of them. It sounds like you were very lucky.
I wouldn't has I have an unreasonable fear of snakes, but since I'm unfamiliar with them my first thought when I saw the post was. Tip #1, don't touch. Again that's only because I don't know the appropriate way to handle them.
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