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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To be sure Case, I would never recommend anyone remove a venomous. I would only recommend walking away from it. I have removed rattlers from my patio and was blessed by a dry bite once. My biggest concern, and I appreciate every response, is the outright disrespect for the life of a snake shown by the man my son and I saw this afternoon. We've heard it on many ocassions from others around here- it seems to them the only good snake is a dead snake. The guy wasn't even on private property- he was in the road and he had to stop his truck and get out to kill the snake. This week I found a yellow rat snake in my quail pen with three quail in his belly, two dead on the wire, and one in his coils. He is also in a safe space until I can relocate him into the preserve down the road. There are moments when one feels threatened in a close situation but what I hear more often than not are people who can't tell a garter snake from a rattlesnake and chop it up thinking they are doing their family a good service. They are doing our world a disservice. Learn to live with nature, that is really what I'm saying- the moments when one actually must kill an animal are far fewer than what we see in practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JenC said:
Sort of on-topic...my elderly, declawed cat killed a young rattlesnake a few years ago (she's 21, so she was pretty darned elderly even then). I have always wondered why a small (therefore, quick) venomous snake couldn't outrun(slither?) an old, fat cat with no claws or at least bite her.
She could have biiten her but there are a variety of reasons why it is possible the snake lost- if the snake was digesting she is the most vulnerable because more of her energy is going to digestion. If she just used her venom on a meal she had insufficient stored to defend herself. If it was cool outside she was probably sluggish and unaware of the cat until it was too late. She was already sick or injured (eating a poisoned rat), etc. My cat and I have both been bitten by pygmy rattlesnakes. Even a hot bite from a pygmy can have a pronounced necrotic effect but neither one of us suffered in the least. We were both given dry bites, meaning in essence, the snake knew we could not be a meal due to our size and she did not waste venom on us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ruby said:
I went to school with a girl, when she was about 5 years old she stepped over a small rock fence, which was only about 6 inches tall. When she did a diamond back got her on her heel string. She almost lost her leg. It left her crippled, did away with the muscles in the calf of her leg. The yard was clean except for the small rock fence which was only for looks. But it was enough for the snake to hide. This was in West Texas.
Ruby, I am sorry for the girl- that was a horible and unfortunate accident. The ocurrences of venomous striking at people in the U.S. is very rare but it ocurrs. An dI believe ther are about a dozen or two deaths every year resulting. I didn't mean to say that keeping the area clean would be a guarantee but it is a precautionary measure. Time of day, prey and burrows in the area also play important roles. I've seen Eastern Diamndbacks choose their meal among dozens of distractions. They go for prey they can swallow and once zoned in, they single-mindedly pursue that prey, almost hypnotically. Your friend startled the snake with a tragic result. I don't think the snake would have pursued your friend to tag her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Mike in Pa said:
My wife HATES snakes. We have a whole family in our shed but I haven't touched them because I think they're in there for the mice. Problem is ... they're gardener snakes ... don't seem big enough to eat mice??
Do you mean Garter snakes? they don't eat mice commonly- their usual prey is more in the amphibian family or worms but they will eat mice if that is what is available. Snakes can take food much larger than themselves. they will dislaign their jaws so that a prey several times larger than its head can be swallowed. After eating they will make sighing movements to realign their jaws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Shahbazin said:
I am getting the feeling that many of the posters about the snake issue don't have a lot of livestock? While I am entirely happy to have kingsnakes & gopher snakes around, rattlesnakes are another matter. I have had several sheep bitten, & if they are pregnant, they will abort (I know this from experience - plus, snakes fascinate sheep, & they all crowd around to see - can result in several bitten by the same snake). A friend's Angora goat that was nursing her 2 week old kids was bitten in the chest/neck area by a rattler, & died, leaving behind her triplets as bottle babies. I have also spent a lot on money on vet bills for dog bitten by snakes. If I find a rattlesnake, I grab for a shovel.
I have swine, rabbits, free range ducks, chickens and turkeys, and pheasants and quail in cages. I also have cats and dogs. I leave snakes alone and don't use pesticides or rat poisons- I have far less trouble than most of my neighbors who kill in blissful ignorance. IMO, preserving an ecological balance is more effective than a million ways of intervention. You don't have to agree with me. I didn't start the thread to change anyone's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Some of my pets.... their cages are 8 feet long and 30 inches deep. I keep reticulated pythons and Burmese pythons. As adults my females can weigh more than 200 pounds and measure over 20 feet long. They are gentle enough to be handled by one woman. A relationship with a wild animal is a special one between sentient beings that can communicate beyond words.



 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
If your son wants to play with a giant, he is welcome to come by :)
My snakes are used to handling. They are far from "tame" in the sense of a dog, but they are very well-adjusted.
Most of our visitors, though fearful of snakes, are overcome by curiousity and have to go into the snake room. Once in there, the questions start. The largest snakes, those that could be potentially dangerous in the public view, are in locked cages, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
MOgal said:
Play with a big python, etc? Not on your life, nor would I allow a child to do so. If you want to know why, I'll see if I can find the name and address of the western Illinois parents whose pet boa decided their little boy might be a tasty tidbit. I'm sure they no longer think big snakes make good pets. I don't remember if involuntary manslaughter were among the multitude of charges they faced
That was an 8 ft. African Rock Python whose cage was left open by partying friends at their house that evening. It was a tragedy that shocked everyone who heard about it. And one I still remember keenly even today- just mentioned it a few weeks ago actually. I've not forgotten that little boy, nor have many others who keep giant constrictors. The parents were exonerated in court of manslaughter charges and I found that just- they will have to live with the death of their young son for the rest of their lives and that is more punishment than a court could ever dish out. But don't worry about my snakes, I didn't invite you to my house. I don't think they'd like you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Hi My Mambugs,
Regular maintenance (spot cleaning, changing water) for snakes that are over 40 pounds and 10 feet in length is handled by me alone when someone else is in the house. My snakes have been with me since their birth and they are used to me handling them all the time but for safety I never handle them when I'm alone. Intensive maintenance such as cage cleaning is done when two others are at home because I let the snakes roam the room for exercise as I clean. I take safety precautions such as wearing clean clothing- no scent of chickens or rabbits on me- Sometimes, on any given day for no particular reason, the snakes want to be left alone and I respect that. Being able to "read" them is very important. They communicate like dogs and cats do and the keeper has to be able to understand their body language. It is always as they allow and not wnat I need to do that day. I have two imported snakes that I do not handle at all unless absolutely necessary. When I take them out I have two other people in the room with me. These two are for serious collectors and will be sold later this year after breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
MicheleMomof3 said:
Tango,
We'd love to come for a visit! How about I stand outside the door while my son & you visit the snake room?? LOL
Just before I get accused of child neglect or something worse...I think if you ever took the time (such as I have) to check out Tango's website then you'd know her experience with these animals speak clearly.
In His Name,
Chele
Thanks Chele,
Your family is always welcome- whether you want to see my snakes or not is entirely up to you- they are out of sight unless you enter their room. Most of my family is afraid of snakes but their curiousity seems to overtake them when they come to my house :) I've yet to encounter a child afraid of snakes when given the chance to look at and touch a small one- and I have small ones too :) Though I have very large snakes I am seldom bitten and the only snakes I've ever been bitten by are the ones I mentioned to My Mambugs which I do not handle unless necessary and one male I no longer own because he was too territorial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
MTNwomanAR said:
I don't understand how ANYone could handle any snake...let alone let one crawl over their body...Several years ago, my boyfriend at the time and I were at a bike show in Fayetteville. There was this girl walking around wearing a halter top, and carrying a HUGE snake. She was letting that snake crawl between her boobs.....YUCK!!
I hope you can understand that any one person displaying questionable behavior in public is not representative of everyone who keeps a snake. I do not let my snakes crawl all over me and I don't know anyone who will or even take their snakes in public unless it is an educational show that has been planned in advance for the community. There are hundreds of thousands of unfortunate snakes sold to the public every year that do not make it to their first birthday due to neglect or abuse. Seldom will you see a serious keeper take a snake outside unless it is to his private yard for some photographs. We follow AFH guidelines that prohibit actions that will offend or upset others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
It is interesting how old this thread is and to see it still around and with so many varied opinions inlcuding those of people who no longer visit this board. I have very few opinions set in stone : this is one of them. I breed and raise snakes and have many friends in reptile education, rescue, and friends who keep what we call in our hobby "hots," aka venomous snakes. I am a bonafide snake lover. My own snakes are large enough to constrict me if they had a mind to- so far I haven't seen that mind (but they love rabbits and pigs). Learning about snakes, including how to avoid them and making one's home and property unattractive to them is the only way to go here if one believes keeping ecological balance is important. If you don't think keeping ecological balance is important this is a moot point for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
rambler said:
You raise some different issues here. I believe rabbit & hog lovers would have at least as many issues with you as you might have with others. :) :)

Seems it has more to do with the 'snake lover' part than the 'ecological balance' part. Just my observation tho, no big deal.

--->Paul
I raise my own rabbits and pigs, chickens, et al for my own snakes and for my family. That hasn't anything to do with ecological balance. I don't use pesticides, rodenticides, or herbicides on my property and I don't hunt wild rabbits and pigs (though in FL hunting wild pigs is a beneficial action for ecological balance). So I ' m not sure where you are coming from with your post. I'm talking about leaving wildlife as untouched as possible while keeping a safe home. People jumping out of cars to kill a snake is not about keeping a home safe but about a phobia or misguided intention. Please explain to me your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
breezynosacek said:
I like nature and I'll protect it from blatant abuse but I'll be dang if I put the life of a loved one or any human being over that of a critter. For that matter, feeding livestock to a snake is downright abuse from my viewpoint.
How can feeding livestock raised for food purposes be considered abuse :confused: Do you think I feed prey live? Or do you think feeding livestock is just abusive in which case you would also consider eating meat abusive? I don't feed live btw. I've gone through a great deal of expense purchasing and constructing a CO2 chamber- the same thing slaughter houses use and it is a method approved by the AVMA as humane for dispatching certain animals. Captive snakes can be injured by prey and it isn't something many advanced keepers with expensive snakes do. Now if you are vegan then I will shut up because we are not arguing leaving wildlife alone but something else entirely. And also I do not put the life of my family before the life of my animals or wildflife, :rolleyes: I simply protect my property and wait in my car while a venomous snake crosses the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Dreams30 said:
My ex loved snakes. He knew my past and how I felt about them so when he moved out he let a snake loose in the house and I found it curled under the bathroom rug. Not all snake owners are nice people nor do many of them care what happens to their pets.
I'm glad your ex is an ex. He sounds nasty but I have to object to you saying "nor do many of them care what happens to their pets." I don't think you can make a case for "many." Snake keepers have their share of morons and people on ego trips; unfortunately they make the headlines more often than the responsible keepers. Name one hobby or segment of society free of fools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
bgak47 said:
It was actually the dumbest testimomy to gun ownership that I have seen. This gun-happy idiot saw a rattlesnake on the side of the road, stopped & shot it, & then bragged about it to people on a forum. Most of them aggreed that he was a hero & a good shot!
I've seen many similar responses right here on this forum- the display of arrogance is very depressing :waa:
 
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