Warning: this blog could change your perception of how to handle snakes correctly in the future.
Yes, you heard it right I said snakes. So, I have been browsing the web and posting on my social media pages and it occurred to me just how many people handle snakes in the same way whether they are veterinary professionals or not and it gives me the shivers.
The amount of people putting snakes of all different shapes and sizes around their necks and posing for photos and it seems to be the in thing as there were only a handful that weren’t wrapped around someone’s neck – this has to stop!
That’s right you heard me it has to stop and stop now before someone gets seriously hurt.
Snakes can get frightened just as quickly as any other animal and as they react with vibrations too they are more sensitive. With snakes such as constrictor, their instinct when worried or frightened is to hold onto or squeeze their body tighter around whatever it is they are gripping onto and if that happens to be your neck you know what happens next. Don’t assume this is just constrictors as other snakes can also do this; it is just that their grip is not as tight or strong but can still have the potential to cause damage. The same goes for them wrapping around your arm or your leg too as once they are wrapped tightly it is a struggle to get them to loosen their grip.
Now I know what you are probably thinking after reading this, that snakes are dangerous and I don’t want to handle them again blah blah blah but please don’t think this! There is a right way to handle a snake and a wrong way.
How to handle snakes correctly
The right way to handle a snake would be to hold the upper half with one hand and the bottom half in the other hand. If the snake is over 6ft or aggressive then it should be handled by two people for the health and safety of the snake and the handlers.
There are many tools you can use to handle and restrain them, providing they are used properly such as a snake hook, a pillowcase, a snake tube or just handling them and restraining them with your hands.
Educate the owners when they come in for consults as for most the first thing they will do is get their snake out and put it around their neck; educate them that it isn’t appropriate at the vets as the snake will be apprehensive.
Educate school children on school visits or at fairs, educate clients that are looking at getting a snake in the future and educate people when on holiday and they try to sling a snake around your neck for photos.
Education, encouragement and collaboration are all you need to spread the word.
Now you have read this, let the education begin!
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