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Posted by tedn on April 13, 2003 at 14:17:44:
In Reply to: Snake Wranglers posted by Steve G on April 12, 2003 at 22:39:13:
:I caught one of the Snake Wrangler TV episodes the other night, and quite frankly, I was appalled. Some guy named Jim from Kentucky was road cruising for Mojave rattlers for a venom collection project. His fingers were absolutely mangled from past bites, which was totally understandable once you watched his technique. He jumped out of his vehicle barefoot, and simply had to pin and grab everything. At one point, he was actually holding a small Mojave behind the head while driving down the road. Fortunately, he only spotted a couple, because if they had been out in numbers, he would have probably been tagged again. Knowing all of the kids that watch these "experts", I really have to shake my head at this nonsense. Is anyone really surprised that we have these antivenin shortages these days?
Just for fun how about this....I know it'll generate a bit of controversy.
Eastern Diamondback rattlers have a large projection above their eyes that makes it impossible for them to see above making it possible to pet them.
While working as lecturers at the old Ross Allen Reptile Institute in Silver Springs, Florida we would get bored and would often do silly things like pet the rattlers during the show! I would usually wait until the end of the lecture right after my rattlesnake would break the balloon. Telling my audience to watch for the fangs as the snake struck the balloon...which was so fast that it was obviously impossible to see them...then I'd reach down and pet the snake on top of its head! It would blow everyone away...the secret was to make sure the snake was watching my feet, instead of my hands, by moving my snake proof boots. The only time, that I'm aware of, that someone was bitten doing this was when the lecturer failed to move the other snakes far enough away. We would usually have twenty or thirty snakes out on the floor at one time. Ross Allen was bitten in one of these shows which cost him a year out of work. The rattler got him from behind and above the boot!