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Posted by tedn on March 13, 2003 at 18:03:25:
One of my responsibilities at the Miami Serpentarium was to feed all the reptiles on display. Back then I thought the snakes had to be fed live food and I always did this after we closed for obvious reasons.
One of our large walk-in exhibits, containing a 15 foot burmese python, a 9 foot retic, a couple of 6 foot boas, and a couple of other small pythons, was next on my feeding schedule and I had two full grown chickens for the larger snakes.
I tossed a chicken towards the large burmese but the retic was quick and grabbed the chicken first. A split second later the burmese grabbed the neck of the retic which instantly coiled around the head of the burmese. The burmese then coiled around and constricted the whole mass. I was in shock, realizing that unless I did something quickly, both snakes would soon be dead! There was no one else around so it was entirely up to me.
Jumping into the cage I began to unravel the burmese python. The snake by this time was weakening and I was able to unwind him. At the same time I had to lay across his body using my weight to hold him down and preventing him from coiling again. I then had to unwind the retic which was wound around the head of the burmese!!! This done I then had to unhook the burmese from the neck of the retic. This the larger snake did reluctantly catching me with several of her long teeth in the process. The chicken, of course, was dead but the two snakes seemed okay and went on to live another day! I was okay too except for lots of my blood dripping everywhere...those teeth are wicked! A close call!