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Posted by BrianSmith on April 30, 2003 at 15:21:30:
In Reply to: About Fluffy... posted by Francis Tan on April 29, 2003 at 00:22:10:
:You actually handled Fluffy? Cool! How did you get the opportunity and do you any pics?
:: I would be more than happy to keep in touch with you also. The honor would be all mine. I am always on the lookout for more friends that genuinely love animals as much as I do, regardless of whether or not they are snakes or otherwise. Feel free to email me any time of the day or night at BrianSmithReptiles@hotmail.com
:: In my humble opinion I don't think that the requirements of keeping a large python are centered on one's overall "experience" with big snakes so much as one's ability to overcome their anxiety of keeping seemingly menacing or "dangerous" snakes, as well as their related ability to responsibly care for such snakes. I say this because I feel that the fear of the large snakes is worse than the actual reality and fears lead to horible mistakes.
:: Other than overall weight, I would say that most of the large snakes available today from captive breeders are just as managable as smaller species. The imported giants of my childhood were a different story altogether and I would not argue with one's anxiety concerning them one bit. But the retics and some other breeds of today are often so docile and readily tame that I wouldn't consider them to be in the same catagory. I actually have this one male blood that is only about 4 feet but he is quite the terror. And while I am not "afraid" of him, I am much more respectful and wary of him than I am with any of my huge retics, rocks, ceylonese, or burms. This little male blood actually wants to bite me and do damage to me. It's quite comical, but impressive too. His name is "viper" because the only time I have seen strikes like his are from viper species that literally leap clear of the ground from the sheer force of the strike. He is also very cunning like some viper species and will strike from a seemingly sleeping positions. So the size of the snake in and of itself does not really dictate the managability of a snake. I have more trouble with my 6 foot, 20 pound boas than I do with 12 or 13 foot, 120 pound burmese. Because the boas often grasp onto me desperately or pull things from shelves, or hold me really tightly. The burms tend to allow themselves to be pulled about and don't put up much of a resistance. In my opinion they are the most "laid back" of all the giants. The retics expend a lot more energy and can be quite a handful, but are still easily managed. Even Bob's giant retic "Fluffy" is not too hard for one person to move. I played with her for about an hour with my wife and when I was done I dragged her 300+ pounds back into the facility and the remaining 150 or so feet down halls, around corners, through doorways, and to her cage. She just allowed herself to be dragged and didn't fight one bit. I broke a good sweat, but it was surprisingly easy. And she is over 24 feet if I remember correctly. Point being, don't be as concerned about size as you are about your own fear or lack of faith in yourself to handle the situation. This causes hesitation and uncertainty, and these things can lead to awful mistakes. I'm sure many keepers of large tame pythons will agree with this. And I'm also sure that they can fill in the blanks, dot the I's and cross the T's that I failed to do here with this long post.
:: Looking forward to hearing from you Cathy. Thanks again for the nice words. Brian
::: I also have to agree that your story was a really great one to read. It brings me back to my childhood days, when I caught my first herp, a Garter snake in my back yard. I was immediately amazed by snakes and I remember being fascinated with this snake that would eat goldfish. I'm not sure if they still feed Garters goldfish, as I know that many Husbandry practices of various reptiles have changed so dramatically since even the eighties, when I was a kid. From then on I was hooked. I caught various frogs, newts, lizards and stuff as a kid along the way. I also kept a few Leos that I bought too. It wasn't until about 7 years ago, that I was immensely hooked on snakes and HAD to have one, when I held a baby Burmese Python at a Pet Store. I vowed that I'd have one some day. However, I decided to start out small with Ball Pythons as they are a good starter snake and have been keeping them for a while now. Very recently though I've got the nostalgia of holding that baby Burm, and I've been wanting a bigger snake. After much and much more research, I've decided to start my "big snake collection" with a Dwarf Retic, because I've been really fascinated with Retics for a while now. I'm going to get one of Shaun DeBord's baby male Jampeas soon and I'm excited already. We've been emailing back and forth now and I'm getting lots of good advice. I was wondering though, as the previous poster was asking, if I could also keep in touch with you also? I've been really learning alot from every which kind of source and I'm sure to get some good experience soon, when I get my first baby Jampea Retic. One day, I will have my Burm though and one day I will have a Regular Retic, but I'm gaining more experience now first. My post is long now too, but I guess I just had to tell some of my story on how I got hooked on herps. :) Look forward to emailing with you soon hopefully, Brian. :)