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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Latest rescue.

Here's the latest rescue I pulled in last night. A mojave desert sidewinder. She was found abandoned in an apartment after her owner moved out, crammed in an aquarium with two other badly emaciated snakes. She is a little skinny but should be fine. She ate a mouse for me this morning with no problems at all.




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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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What I get for listening to people with more experience on these animals than I... I'm in doubt as to species now. After spending most of the day doing research, it sure looks more like a speckled rattler to me.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 03:39 AM
 
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Please don't think me an idiot, but I've got a couple of questions...
How do you feed a snake that poisonous? I wouldn't dare take the lid off of that aquarium! How do you know that she is a she?? Last one, what on earth are you going to do with her? I don't know much about snakes, is it ok for them to stay in an aquarium forever (I ask because I couldn't imagine handling a poisonus snake)? lol, thanks for bearing with me here!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 06:36 AM
 
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ummmmmmm.... I second Becki's questions. I also wonder why on earth would someone keep a poisonous snake as a pet. EWWWWW.

I can handle a python and other non-venomous snakes no problem. But a rattle snake
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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For feeding, I unlock and pull the top off of her cage, then use a set of tongs to wiggle a mouse in front of her. Just like you'd do with pretty much any other snake. I don't feed live animals to my snakes.

Right now, I am just guessing she is a female from a quick guess of tail size. (Not rattle size.) Generally males have a longer tail... but that method is really not reliable. Once she is calmed down and established I will take her out, let her crawl up a narrow, long tube that she cannot turn around in and then use a small metal probe to be sure.

Many snakes do just fine in aquariums for their entire lives... venomous ones included. Snakes are not overly active animals, much of their time is spent sitting in one spot and waiting for food to come by. If one spot isn't good, they'll move to another spot. In this way, captivity for some species is almost an ideal situation. Of course, aquariums are not the safest and most secure means of keeping venomous snakes. You need something with a locking lid - and many a keeper has been bitten through a screen top.

In the long run, the general care of venomous snakes is no more difficult than that of other snakes - which leads alot of people to get over their heads. It is the handling that is the problem... and with any animal, you have to handle it at some point to check its health, to remove it for cage cleaning, and so forth. If you ever watch Croc Hunter. That is a perfect example of improper handling techniques... and only by the graces of God, and by him knowing how those animals are going to react with some quick reflexes, is he still with us today. Myself, I use tongs, hooks and buckets. Once in captivity, snakes get used to this process and learn how to hang on a hook, get familiar with being put into holding buckets temporarily, so it really is not a difficult process. Just one that the keeper has to be constantly aware of what is going on. Myself, if I'm even feeling a little groggy one day, I won't work with those animals. I don't want anything throwing off my focus.

Anyway, venomous keeping for me, it was the next logical step to my reptile keeping hobby. I have had many, many non-venomous snakes, but instead of running out and buying a dangerous animal, I started with wild handling - you know, removing animals from other people's property. I really hate it when people kill snakes on their property... snakes are very inoffensive animals, all they want is their food, some sunshine, and to be left alone. But people think rattlesnake, and automatically assume its chasing them down to kill them and their immediate family. Anyway... from there, I started taking rescues from people who got into the hobby, and realized that they were over their head before they ended up in the hospital... or abandoned animals... and even a few wild rehabs that were unreleasable.

In the long run, with proper handling techniques and a responsible and knowledgable keeper, venomous snakes make interesting additions to captive a collection. There are probably alot more of them out there than you would imagine - but you are right, its is definitely not for everyone, and just because someone has had a ball python before it doesn' t make them ready for a rattlesnake. People ask me all the time "How do I know I'm ready for a venomous snake?" and I always answer with the same thing. If you have to ask yourself that question, you aren't ready.

Honestly, some large pythons are just as dangerous in the hands of an irresponsible keeper as any venomous snake.

Well, hopefully that answered your questions.

Rav

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 01:45 PM
 
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Good answers Rav, thar really cleared it up, thank you! Are you going to keep her?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Most likely, yes, she is with me to stay. She ate for me yesterday afternoon, so I'm hoping she'll do just fine.

Rav

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 03:32 PM
 
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Very informative Rav... Thank You. What you said makes total sense. I do have to agree also that even a non venomous snake can be lethal in the wrong hands.

I am glad that there are folks out there like yourself to help educate and rehabilitate. Every animal deserves to live as normal a life as possible
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2002, 07:02 PM
 
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Great post Rav. I missed this earier. I know that I am definitely not interested in venemous let alone any other type of snake at least right now. Probably forever. I prefer the four legged lizard types myself.

I admire you for your responsibility and the way you went about acquiring your venemous snake(s?). Do you have more?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-19-2002, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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I currently have 8 different species of venomous snakes, which comes to 10 snakes total. I also keep many non venomous, as well as lizards. I have a young savannah monitor who is a real trouble maker.

Rav

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-19-2002, 01:14 PM
 
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Before my hubby and I got married he had a Savannah monitor. Her name was Leah. She was a sweety when she was little, even though I couldn't get used to the thought of her eating mice or rats. As she got bigger, my hubby got busier with school and she didn't get as much attention as she needed. She became extremely shy. One day when his family was visiting. He brought her down to show them. She sprayed the wall with fecal matter. And I mean litterally sprayed. She was like a poop cannon. We determined that after we got married we would be too busy with school and our iguana, so we found her a good home to go to. I miss her and think of her every once in a while.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 10:24 AM
 
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It scares the heck out of me that venomous reptiles are so widely available to the inexperienced. I mean, I sure wouldn't want to have been in the apartment next door if one of those got loose!! There really ought to be a permit that is required to keep them, with a demonstration of knowledge and experience required to get it!! It scares the heck out of me that anybody can buy an exotic venomous pit viper for under $100 on the net! I saw this show on treating snake bites on TV and it scared the heck out of me... this guy who couldn't have been more than early 20s and his younger wife and their little baby were all sitting in the living room and taking a rather cavalier attitude to the venomous snakes, even though he had been bitten and nearly died (had to be life flighted from NC to FL in a hurricane to get the antivenin) not too long before. And last year I caught a commentary in reptiles magazine about a person who was at a herp show and overheard some teens telling their shocked friend that the sidewinder he just bought was venomous- he bought it with no idea and the dealer apparently didn't tell him!! Scary! Gee, can you tell there's no venomous herp keeping in my future? I enjoy reading about them and there are so many absolutely gorgeous ones, but I agree 100% with Rav that venomous and large snakes are NOT for everybody!!

Tig
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, the pet sale industry has always been a buyer beware situation. The sellers are there to make a buck, and if someone is willing to put money down and walk off with an animal - regardless of whether it is a chinchilla or a dangerous snake, most often, the sellers do not care. Reputable venomous snake sellers will not sell to anyone under the age of 18. The others... well, you probably don't even want to know.

There are permit systems in place in a few states, and some counties individually require permits. Almost every major city in the US has a ban on 'animals potentially dangerous to the public' - which very much would include venomous snakes... so if you live in any city, and someone complains about your animals, they will most likely be confiscated. Whether an incident actually occurred or not.

Keeping venomous snakes in an apartment is irresponsible anyway, you, as the keeper, have no right to put other people who happen to live in the same building as you unknowingly at risk.

Please be careful of what you see on TV about venomous snakes and bite treatment. Discovery/Animal Planet is probably the worst source for good information on the subjects. They go to great lengths to drum up fear, hype and then go out of their way to put people on who are more showman than educators. In this particular situation, I don't think the two are compatible. That Venom ER was an interesting show, but the whole leadup to each story was just to build up suspense.

Rav

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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thats good
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