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Posted by Rick on June 18, 2001 at 16:49:48:
In Reply to: Re: Snakes in a classroom? help? posted by George Alexander on June 18, 2001 at 12:41:27:
: Individual snakes can vary, but the vast majority of cornsnakes have excellent dispositions. Young snakes of any species tend be be more nippy. If you get one, don't put it in the classroom for a few weeks. Let it settle in, and handle it regularly yourself. Read Bill & Cathy Love's "The Cornsnake Manual."
: My children were ages 5 to 10 when we started keeping snakes. We keep a few different (small, typically docile) species, including cornsnsakes, and the children are involved in the feeding, cage cleaning, and handling of them all.
Make sure to teach your students proper snake handling techniques, i.e.
1. Allow the snake to move through your hands do not try to force him to be still.
2.Avoid touching the top of the snakes head, or grabbing from above, this how a predator would aproach them and they are sensitive to it.
3.Avoid jerky movements. While people recognize things by their shape, snakes recognize things by their movements and jerky movements indicate prey.
4. Never feed the snake by dropping food in the cage. Snakes quickly become condition to expect food everytime their cage is opened and will then strike at the first thing they see move. The proper technique, is to remove the snake and then add the food.
5. always wash hands before and after handling. Wash before to remove any sents the snake may confuse with food and after to reduce possible contamination. All reptile have the potentional to spread samonella, although, I believe that this rarely happens with snakes.
6. If a bite should occur, clean with betadine or peroxide. Infections from snake bites are rare so you shouldn't be to concerned. All in all, if I had to get bit by an animal I would perfer it to be a harmless snake, the bite is similar to getting a TB test, just alot of little pin pricks.