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A Close Call


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Posted by tedn on February 19, 2003 at 11:08:02:

Many years ago I worked with Bill Haast at the Miami Serpentarium. At the time we had a very large retic. probably close to 20' which was housed in a walk in exhibit. This was a particularly nasty snake and when I cleaned the cage I had to protect myself with a garbage can lid which I used like a shield as the retic could easily strike and hit me anywhere within the cage. He always gave it a good try too! One day Bill decided to move this snake to another cage and enlisted me for help. This was no easy feat but we thought we could handle it. Bill threw a blanket over the snake, grabbed its huge head, I grabbed its middle and off we went. We had to half carry,half drag the retic down a hallway to another cage about 60' away...easier said than done. About halfway along the hall the snake hooked my foot with its tail making it difficult to walk. So I signaled to stop so I could untangle my foot. In a split second the snake had us wrapped up like two rabbits, back to back! We were still standing but neither of us could move and the snake was steadily tightening its coils. Haast still had its head but as the snake tightened Bill was losing his grip. Needless to say, this snake had a huge head and the prospect of being bitten wasn't something either one of us relished. So there we were, standing in a building with no windows, at the opposite end of the Serpentarium from any help, nobody around to hear us and slowly being smothered by this huge snake. I was thinking about how it would look in the newspaper! Well our guardian angel must have been watching out for us. Someone phoned for Bill and his secretary came looking for us! The rest is history!


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