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Posted by Jackie Lapradd on January 14, 2003 at 17:45:34:
In Reply to: Re: *Question* 'handling your Heloderma' posted by Rob Carmichael on January 14, 2003 at 13:20:54:
I use heavy duty gloves also (Midwest) but I refrain from grabbing them behind the head. Most animals I have seen this done to end up being very defensive(I can't say that I blame them).
I usually SLOWLY approach the animal with one hand, gently lift its tail up with the other hand and slide my hand underneath. I haven't ever had one even try to bite when using this method.
:We keep a pair of gilas at our wildlife center that are used for display and educational purposes. Although they are laid back, we NEVER take this for granted...they can be surprisingly fast in a sudden lunge. When we handle them (with gloves...most of the time) we always pin them gently behind the neck. Once securely in hand, they tend to settle down quickly but once again, we never let our guard down. A bite from a gila is extremely painful and dangerous; it only takes one split second of misjudgement to put your life in real danger.
::How do you keepers handle your gilas and beadeds? Are they that layed back in captivity that they dont even think about biting..or do you not free-handle them at all?