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Posted by Jeremy G on November 15, 2002 at 07:12:25:
In Reply to: Re: Me too...more posted by Jeremy G on November 15, 2002 at 06:40:15:
"Check it out, any large arboreal hot, 4ft and up Id say, if being held, is well with in range to tag you on the face! Even if held out at arms length, unless you pin and restrain everytime you handle your booms(which may be why they act so finicky for you. Too much handleing)or your 9ft tall!"
After reading BGF's post bellow and thinking back, I have seen people safely handle hots in this fashion but their has to be justification for doing so. BGF works daily with venomous snakes and their venoms, doing research. He is hypersensitive I belive to various venoms and has to be as safe as he can. This is what works best for him and he is still alive today. Good for him but and as im sure Bryan will agree, he isnt keeping em for the same reason we do! He is doing research on them, not careing for them and maintaining them as happily as can be in captivity(Which im sure all of your captives are has happy as can be. Im not knocking you at all, just trying to make a point). Therfore, he is probally going to be more prone to aggresively restrain with the gloves when the situation calls for it then you or I would on our new 500 dollar polylepis or.... He is used to pinning, restraining, milking or even worse. We on the other hand try to minimize stress as mush as posible in order to ensure our captives health, happiness and long life(or we should anyway) which shouldnt included restraining unless absolutely needed which is the only safe way I can see handleing a Boomslang or Mamba with those gloves. Letting any relatively large hot snake crawl through and around your hand is just asking for a bite to the face if the snake so chooses to. They will have leverage and be well with in range. Hooking can be done on any sp if you train your self and if you dont like hooks or tongs, make a trap box. Ive seen a satanic 6 ft N.melanoluca which definately lived up to the sp aggresive reputation(actually, she was the poster child!) be safely handled with one long hook, while she was up in a rage. If some one can safely handle such a snake in such a situatrion then you should have no probs doing so with the boomers.
My edited 2 cents,
:The later mentioned sps are also capable of fataly envenomating you with just the slightest nip. Throw in the potential for an upper body bite while useing your handleing method and the equation is complete. One stupid arse, posibly dead hot herper!
:Now I know your going to argue that you use gloves and a coat but what do you use for your head and neck? What if your booms or Green mamba(which you havent admited too handleing in this way yet but Id bet the farm you do)spazes out and lunges at your face? What kinda of protrection do you use if any? Perhaps ajousting mask or somthing?
:Bottom line, bone headed ways to get around learning proper hook function and use are only going to work aginst you and the rest of us in the long run(when you get bit being a moron). Dumb luck will only be on your side for so long. Proper training for these sorta endevours is a must and if you cant hook your boomers safely(which I know of many, many people who have very little problems doing so)then get rid of them or find someone with experince to train you properly! (which is what I offered in advice about 6 months ago before you had any hots. Now you have booms, various Naja and even Dendroaspis too! Am I the only one whos sees a problem with this?)
:P.S Regarding your website, you do not have animals which cant be seen in zooilogical institutions! Ive seen every sp you have and many, many you dont on display at several zoos so dont think your special.
::I didn't mean to use as lax of wording as I did for that post. The wording I used was in responce to a person that has no problems free-handling coral snakes, so probably wouldn't mind free-handling something like a boom as well. I very much respect these snakes. Their speed is unlike any other that I've worked with, and can certainly give any N. A. racer a run for its money when it comes to scooting across the ground. Add to that that they can basically do the same thing up in the trees makes this snake totally remarkable, and therefore my absolute favorite species. For a "primitive colubrid" (as I've heard them referred to as), they seem incredibly intelligent, and they don't have the weak back-fang system most rear-fangs do. In fact, my roommate and I found a shed fang in the back of a mouse our male boomslang grabbed but didn't eat. I need to get some good pictures of that fang, because it's a good 3/4 to 1 centimeter in length. After getting a good look at their fang systems, one can very quickly develop a healthy respect for this snake. Two huge fangs on each side that can very easily impale a young mouse should deserve respect from anyone working with them.
::As to my handling of these snakes, I choose my method for one big reason alone. True, these snakes can seem incredibly docile, but seeing one of them in feeding mode can remind you that they can definitely be aggressive at times. But anyway, I choose my method for the fact that the hook and tail method on boomslangs is almost all but useless. I'm sure there are some specimens that this can be easily done to, but mine don't want to let me do this. First off, they will promptly wrap themselves in a knot on the branch any time I go to hook them out of the enclosure (I'm talking literal know here, not just a couple loops). Also, they are so agile that they can easily manipulate themselves such that they can go from one end of the hook to the other in almost record time. For these reasons, I choose to "free-handle" them with thick leather gloves and a heavy coat. This gives me the ability to have complete control of their body (holding the upper end just past the neck usually, and the lower end and the last 1/3), whereas with the hook and tail method, I would almost be at the mercy of whatever they wanted to do. And doing this, they seem very inclined to just try to slide through my gloved hands. So far, no aggression has been attempted (even by the aggressive black female) during this. If it ever falters, we'll just figure out another way to handle them.
::So all that being said, I do have a very healthy respect of these snakes. Their muscular control is simply amazing to watch. They definitely are my favorite species to keep, and probably always will be. I hope that explained my handling methods a little.