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Posted by Mark Seward on July 14, 2002 at 07:53:06:
In Reply to: Gila as first hot? posted by Bernard on July 11, 2002 at 20:57:49:
You will find the answer to most of your questions at the link below.
The reason there is not a commercially available antivenin for Gilas is they cause no human mortalities and virtually no morbidity. The only people that are even bitten by them are the crazies that pick them up (like us).
I have had quite a few venomous snakes from all over the world (in my younger days) and can say that working with Gilas is a whole different deal. If you mean, by "first hot" will it prepare you for eventually working with venomous snakes? I don't think it will. If you mean by "first hot" that you don't have experience with other venomous reptiles and consequently, do you have what it takes to work with Gilas? In my opinion, anyone with an interest, a mature approach, some common sense and a little coaching, can safely work with Gilas. By far, the most serious risk is becoming complacent with them, as the typical adult Gila is a very calm gentle creature. Just never put yourself in a position where a bite could occur and you won’t be bitten. Avoiding a Gila bite is a much simpler proposition than avoiding a bite from any other venomous reptile.
As Jacob mentioned, it is important to check about any state and local regulations that would prevent you from legally keeping Gilas. There are no Federal requlations that apply.