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Posted by AZ Hot Rod God on February 19, 2003 at 14:32:12:
To much of my surprise and sadness this morning, I found my sidewinder dead. This comes as a big shock to me because he was doing just fine and out of nowhere he's dead. It was the prized jewel out of my whole snake collection. I called him the Ferrari of snake keeping. I not sure as to whether I should preserve him in a glass jar or what? I've never had a snake die on me before so I'm not exactly sure what to do. What do you guys do with a snake that has died? I at least got a whole bunch of pictures of him in his glory days. Bob G. said that he wasn't eating at all when he gave it to me and warned me that it might not survive for much longer, but I was able, to everybodys amazement, to keep him alive and well since he hatched in June 2002.
I called up my mom and told her that my sidewinder had died and she didn't think it was that much of a loss or at least she just doesn't understand how close many of us are towards our snakes and other reptiles. I told her that it would be just like losing a dog or a cat. Although they are able to show affection unlike venomous snakes and other reptiles. But there were times that I swear that some of my snakes were somewhat intelligent. They knew when I was going to go get them some food even before I left the house. She thought I was crazy because I even name my snakes...my sidewinder was called Prettyboy Skales. One of my friend in my old truck club used to call me Prettyboy Stallian after Ponyboy from the movie "The Outsiders". Anywho, I knew what I was getting into when I got my sidewinder and knew how fickle they could be but it's the closest thing I can get to a Desert Horned Viper (Cerastes cerastes), although I think I've became more keen for Sidewinders now than I am towards Desert Horned Vipers.
By the way, where did you guys acquire your venomous snakes? Did you catch them in the wild or did you purchase them from a breeder like Glades Herp or Coastal Reptiles? And if you did purchase them, how much of a hassle was it? I know AZ law states that you can own Non-Protected Native Venomous Snakes but a permit is required to own Exotic Venomous Species and that permit is near impossible to attain. According to Mardi Snipes' page (Coastal Reptiles) the protected species are the Rock rattlesnake (C. lepidus), Twin Spotted (C. pricei), Ridgenosed (C. willardi), Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), and the Gila Monster; and they all require permits.
What are some species that you guys are currently keeping and what are your feelings towards them as far as keeping them in captivity, behavior, breeding, and so on? (By the way, this is not meant to sound like "what's a good beginner rattlesnake" kind of question....I am not a beginner). Anywho, this post is way too long as it is so I just want us to remember my Sidewinder "Prettyboy Skales"......The first snake that I have ever had die on me. R.I.P.