13
Dec
08

Keeping venomous snakes

Due to a number of page hits I’ve been getting from searches such as “keeping pet cottonmouths” and so forth, I’m going to have to scream “DON’T DO IT!!!” If you are a lay person (not biologist) looking for information about venomous snake care on the internet, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to fuck up somewhere along the line. Antivenin is NOT CHEAP. CroFab runs around $800/vial, and from, say, a cottonmouth bite, you’re looking at 8-16 vials. You also may be allergic to the antivenom itself. You also may lose a limb or your life. Even the least dangerous of North American snakes (Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)) will still cause some nasty swelling and necrosis. If you have venomous snakes on hand, it’s not if you get bitten, it’s when. If you are an undergraduate biology student looking for information on keeping Agkistrodon piscivorous in a laboratory setting for research purposes, send me an e-mail (jared.cormier (at) gmail.com) or leave a comment on this post with your SCHOOL e-mail address such as (name @ youruniversity.com). For safety purposes, I will only begin discussing the keeping of venomous reptiles with individuals whom I can confirm her enrollment as a biology student or grad student.

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2 Responses to “Keeping venomous snakes”


  1. December 13, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Darn it! I WAS going to breed them and give them to my in-laws for gifts!

    Plan ‘B’… Botulism in canned fish!

  2. December 23, 2008 at 4:34 am

    I come from Engand, where the most dangerous snake is the humble Adder (I think the last time a person DIED from a bite was back in 1935) but I now live in Thailand, where we have a few FAR more exotic specimens! One time I went to a “snake farm”. In the middle of the show, one of the trainers tossed one into the audience. EVERYBODY ducked except ME. I KNEW it was fake (it was a bit of ROPE!) since (1) as I understand it, snakes are quite fragile and using UP a snake every show would have quickly left them rather short of performers (2) tourists would SUE and (3) the cops would have closed them DOWN. But of course I didn’t have the time to consider ANY of that – the reason I didn’t duck was I have NO natural phobia regarding snakes (which is probably a BAD thing, given where I now live). I LIKE ’em. In fact reptiles are my favourite animal group. They’re BEAUTIFUL. My garden is FILLED with geckos, lizards – and the occasional snake. But don’t worry – I won’t PET them!


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