Snakes

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#1
Indian charmers want their snakes

Thousands of charmers still perform across India despite the law

Some 1,000 snake charmers have staged a rally in eastern India, protesting against a law that has made their profession illegal.

Playing their flutes, they marched in the city of Calcutta, demanding the right to perform with live snakes.

Shows featuring cobras and other snakes have been banned in India since 1991.

Snake charmers say the ban threatens the survival of their way of life. Animal rights groups say it should be kept to curb the abuse of snakes.


Many Indian snake charmers continue to perform despite the ban

Raktim Das, the head of India's snake charmers federation, said the government should make the traditional performance legal again.

He also said serum farms should be set up across India where snake charmers could sell venom for medical use.

"We are being consistently harassed by the police for keeping snakes, which are snatched away without paying us compensation," Mr Das said.

Despite the 1991 ban, hundreds of thousands of snake charmers continue to perform in India.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7896028.stm

edit to amend title.
 
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#2
Indian police arrest man carrying horde of snakes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10802480
By Narayan Bareth BBC News, Jaipur

Cobra recovered by Jaipur police Many of the snakes were reportedly ill-treated

A man has been arrested on suspicion of breaking wildlife laws after he was found with 43 snakes in his car, police in the Indian city of Jaipur have said.

Rajesh Kapoor was arrested with the snakes, including eight protected cobras, in a cotton bag, police said.

Mr Kapoor has previously been linked with idol smuggling and antiques theft, superintendent of police Hawa Singh Ghumariya said.

A snake rescue team was looking after the snakes.

The arrested man runs a fitness centre in Jaipur and told journalists that he hoped to sells the snakes on the international market.

Police say that he claimed to have got the snakes from snake charmers - but their investigations revealed this to be untrue and he was arrested on suspicion of various offences in contravention of India's wildlife laws.

A snake rescue team led by Piyush Shashtri has now been deployed by police to treat the serpents, some of which are suffering from injuries, police said.

They said that three species of snake were found, but only the cobras were poisonous. It is believed they were ill-treated and kept in cruel conditions.

''Snakes are in big demand on the international market for their skins and venom," Mr Shashtri said. "Body parts are also in demand to use in herbal medicine."

Mr Ghumariya said that the snakes will be released into the forest "after completing the legal process".
 

OneWingedBird

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#3
According to my next door neighbour who was in India in the late 40s, you could book entertainment that involved a chap coming into your mess with a cobra and a mongoose and letting them fight to the death.

There was a fee, usually raised by whip round, that obviously had to cover the guys profit and the cost of another cobra.
 

Peripart

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#4
BlackRiverFalls said:
There was a fee, usually raised by whip round, that obviously had to cover the guys profit and the cost of another cobra.
Or, every once in a while at least, a mongoose, presumably?
 

OneWingedBird

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#5
My neighbour did not mention that bit. Maybe you really had to stick around a while to see it.
 
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#6
Crawley man claims poisonous snake world record
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-11129938

David Jones Mr Jones said he wanted a challenge that was "out of the ordinary".

A Sussex carpenter is claiming a world record after spending 114 days in a room with some of the world's most venomous snakes.

David Jones, 44, of Crawley, flew to Johannesburg to complete the challenge.

He has been living in a room at a wildlife park with 40 snakes, including puff adders, snouted cobras, boomslangs and black mambas.

Mr Jones completed the challenge on Tuesday but decided to remain in the room for a further week.

The current record is held by South African Martin Smit.

Mr Smit, also known as Mad Martin, spent 113 days in a room with snakes without being bitten.

Mr Jones, whose wife is scared of snakes, said the last person to attempt the record was bitten by a puff adder and narrowly avoided having to have part of his leg amputated.

Mr Jones is using the challenge to raise money for St Catherine's Hospice in Crawley.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#10
Mythopoeika said:
CarlosTheDJ said:
Funnily enough I found a snake in my garden in Sussex yesterday!
An actual snake?
The closest thing to a snake I've ever seen in this country is a slow-worm. The one I saw was dead.
Well I thought it was a slow-worm but my mate was adamant that it was a python :lol:
 

GNC

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#11
If you thought it was a snake, did you hit it with a rake? And is it now only five foot four?
 
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#13
Maritime hiss-tory trips to beach are bliss for pet snake
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 14736.html
ELAINE KEOGH

Mon, Jul 25, 2011

IF YOU go for a walk on the beach in Laytown, Co Meath, this summer don’t be surprised to find a man there who’s got a 4.2m python with him.

“It is good for his digestion to swim in the rock pools,” explains Peter Trinder (49), proud owner of Hiss, an albino Burmese python.

Exotic pets are the norm in the Trinder household – Peter and his wife Ann share their bedroom with Hiss and two other snakes as well as a savannah lizard.

The couple and their four children also have an assortment of cats, dogs and birds, and Ann says word has spread about their love of animals. “People have left an injured sparrowhawk and a hedgehog on our doorstep because they know we will look after them.”

Of all their pets Hiss is the most show-stopping. About a year old, he won’t be fully grown until he is four.

“He is only 14 feet at the moment – he will grow to 24 feet and will then weigh 250 lb ,” says Peter. “He is my pride and joy.”

The snake currently weighs 77 lb (35 kilos) and eats rabbits, feeding twice a week.

Peter says the digestive beach trips are important for his pet. “I put him in rock pools and he does his thing. He is getting to the point where it will take two of us to bring him down here,” he says, staying beside Hiss and making sure he does not go near other people or any dogs brought to the beach.

Ann also brings Bosco the lizard there, and he likes to try to climb the rocks.

The couple do not like the recent trend of people buying exotic animals as if “they were a status symbol”.

“They are a commitment and when the novelty wears off people are just dumping them,” says Ann, who adds she was the first to want a reptile, and says “for Valentine’s Day, I get a snake”.

Her husband agrees, saying it makes perfect sense because “chocolates make you fat and roses die after two days”.
 

GNC

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#14
Snakes in Ireland? St Patrick will be spinning in his grave!
 

staticgirl

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#15
ramonmercado said:
“People have left an injured sparrowhawk and a hedgehog on our doorstep because they know we will look after them.”
[/quote]
Does Hiss get them? ;)
 
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#18
Definitely Pyhtonesque.

Python rescued from Morecambe office chair
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-la ... e-14444745

Brian the python was stuck within the adjustment mechanism of the chair

Fire crews in Lancashire were called to an unusual rescue after reports that a snake had become trapped in a piece of furniture.

The 3ft (0.9m) python was stuck in the adjustment mechanism of an office chair at a home on Alexandra Road in Morecambe.

Small tools and a crow bar were used to open up the mechanism and the snake, called Brian, was gently pulled out.

Despite his confinement, Brian appeared to be unharmed following his release.
 

Spudrick68

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#19
Brian! Brian! What kind of a name is that for a snake. He was probably trying to kill himself!
 
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#20
The graveyard snake and the praying woman
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/fea ... 50523.html

A LADY praying in a west Clare graveyard was paid an unexpected visit by a serpent last week – in this case a North American corn snake, which had escaped from its owner.

Following a call to the Garda, local dog warden Frankie Coote was tasked with identifying and collecting the four-and-a-half-foot male snake. Coote believes the snake had been living in the graveyard for some time, picking off vermin for food.

“The owner is close by and maybe he let him out to have a snake about and he disappeared. I think he was living there for about five weeks. They will generally survive the summer, but after that the winter will kill them – either that or St Patrick.”

The North American corn snake’s normal lifespan can be up to 30 years.

This isn’t the first time Clare ISPCA has had to deal with reptiles. Demand for pet snakes and lizards has boomed in recent years, and the problems for local animal rescue services are rising.

“We do get more and more calls now. I am aware people have 10-12-foot-long snakes just in Co Clare alone,” says Coote. “There is nothing I can do about it. I feel there should be legislation.

“I know of one person who has a python in a house in a housing estate.”

One solution, Coote believes, is for the type of restrictions imposed on dog and cat owners to apply also to owners of exotic pets.

“With dogs, there is responsibility attached. I can check the licence, and the owner has to pay a replacement charge if they stray, and account for any expense incurred by our services. But then a fella can walk down the street with a lion or tiger, and there’s nothing any dog warden can do about it. It doesn’t make any sense.”

– Brian O’Connell
 
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#21
Angry India charmer lets loose snakes in office
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-15963842

Office workers take evasive action from the snakes in Uttar Pradesh

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An angry snakecharmer in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has let loose dozens of snakes in a government office, sparking chaos and panic.

Hakkul, of Lara village in Basti district, dumped the snakes, including a number of cobras, at the land revenue office in Harraiya town on Tuesday.

Many of the frightened villagers and officials ran out of the office, while others climbed on top of tables.

No-one was bitten or injured but the snakes are yet to be caught.

Plot of land

Mr Hakkul is usually called in whenever a snake is spotted in the area and he has saved many lives over the years, local journalist Mazhar Azad told the BBC.

Mr Hakkul has petitioned various government offices over the years demanding a plot of land where he can "conserve" his snakes.

Mr Azad said Mr Hakkul had even petitioned the president.


Some of the snakes are still in the building Mr Hakkul says his request has been cleared by senior authorities, but the local officials keep delaying it.

On Tuesday, Mr Hakkul went to the Tehsil [revenue] office with a group of supporters and emptied out his bags containing poisonous snakes.

"Snakes were climbing up the tables and chairs. The office was full, there were nearly 100 officials and clerks and many more visitors," Mr Azad said.

"There was total chaos for several hours. Some people started taking photos with their telephone cameras, others brought out sheets to try to cover the snakes. Some came with sticks and wanted to beat up Hakkul."

Mr Azad said Mr Hakkul and his men escaped in the confusion and are yet to be caught.

So are the snakes who are still hiding in the building.
 
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#22
Was unsure where to put this. mods please move to OOPA if appropriate.

Battling the brown tree snake in Guam
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17992053
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News, Guam

Wildlife biologist James Stanford on the trail of the brown tree snake

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In the dense tropical forest, a slither of movement can just be made out in the glow of our head torches.

A snake is entwined in the undergrowth. It is about 1m long, mostly dull brown but with a vivid yellow underbelly.

We are face to face with Guam's "nemesis": the brown tree snake. And the forests here are dripping with them.

The US territory, in the western Pacific, is only 50km (30 miles) long and 10km wide, but it is packed with two million snakes.

This reptile arrived here only 60 years ago but has rapidly become one of the most successful invasive species ever.

Unhealthy appetite

Wildlife biologist James Stanford, from the US Geological Survey, says: "Our belief is that they came at the end of World War II.

"We've looked at their genetics and they are all extremely closely related, and it appears they came from the Island of Manus in Papua New Guinea."

He explains that military equipment used by the US in Papua New Guinea while the war raged in the Pacific was eventually sent back to Guam to be processed. A snake probably crept on to a ship or a plane destined for the island.


Cheryl Calaustro says the koko was easy prey for the snakes
"And from that handful, or maybe even one already impregnated female, we now have a population that is unbelievable in scale," he says.

The venomous snakes have caused many problems. They get everywhere, and people have even woken up with them in their beds.

The island's power system is regularly shorted out by snakes crawling on the lines. It is so frequent the locals now call power cuts "brown outs".

But the biggest impact has been on the wildlife - it has been decimated. The forests here are eerily quiet. Now the only place where the Guam's native birds, such as the koko, can be seen on the island are in cages in a captive breeding centre.

"The brown tree snake has had a devastating impact. Ten out of 12 native forest bird species disappeared in 30 years," says Cheryl Calaustro from Guam's Department of Agriculture.

"The birds here evolved without predators. They were quite naive. And when the snake arrived on Guam it ate eggs, juveniles, adults. Whole generations disappeared."

Toxic mouse bombs

But the snakes did not stop there.

Dr Stanford explains: "We thought it would be limited: 'OK, if it wipes out the birds, it will decline.' It wasn't the case. It just switched what it was feeding on - rodents, lizards, small mammals - across the board."


Desperate measures in Guam's battle against the brown tree snake
Now the locals are fighting back. And they are unleashing some unusual weapons in their war against the snake.

One effort has involved air-dropping mice that have been laced with poison and fitted with parachutes out of helicopters. It provides a deadly dinner for any unsuspecting snakes below.

"Right now we are using acetaminophen. It commonly used as a pain reliever and fever reducer in humans, but it is 100% lethal to all brown tree snakes," explains Dan Vice of the US Department of Agriculture.

"If they eat that dead mouse containing acetaminophen, they will die."

But this is a battle on two fronts. Not only is the US government trying to clear the snakes, it is also trying to prevent the problem being passed to anyone else.

And to do this, it has enlisted the help of some small dogs.

Snakes on a plane

In a busy cargo depot close to the airport, Elmo the Jack Russell, kitted out in a smart, green uniform, is sniffing box upon box of goods waiting for export.


Elmo the Jack Russell is an expert at sniffing out snakes
He is on the hunt for any unwanted stowaways.

As he catches wind of an unusual scent, he begins to scrabble, alerting the government inspector to the presence of a snake - and is rewarded with a treat.

A small army of dogs check every single item of cargo before it leaves Guam.

"It is a monumental project. We're working 24 hours a day, seven days a week," says Mr Vice.

"Cargo doesn't stop, the airport doesn't shut down, so we have to be there to make sure the cargo going on the airplane has indeed been snake inspected."

Letting the snakes on a plane could have devastating consequences.

Mr Vice says: "Economics researchers have tried to apply the impact of snakes to Hawaii. They found it could cost $400m or more if the snake became established.


Getting rid of the snakes is going to be an enormous job for the US government
"The impacts are running across all kinds of parts of the economy. It includes healthcare for humans because the snakes bite people, damage to the power system, lost revenue associated with declines in tourism and ecotourism."

However, with so many snakes on the island, controlling the problem is an uphill battle.

And today, Guam serves as an example to the world of what happens when an invasive species takes hold.

The worry is that it may be too late to clear the infestation, but Mr Vice says this should not stop the islanders from trying.

"Our long-term goal is to eradicate the snake," he says.

"The problems here are so profound we don't want to let them go anywhere else, and the only way to achieve that is to get rid of them completely."
 
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#24
Mythopoeika said:
They should have an 'Eradicate Snakes' day, when everybody on Guam hunts for brown snakes. They should be pretty thorough about it, perhaps doing it a few times.
didn't The Simpsons have a snake whacking day?
 
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#26
Rattlesnake bites customer in Wal-Mart
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18067653

Rattlesnakes lie in wait for their prey

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A Wal-Mart customer is recovering after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in a garden department of the store chain.

Mica Craig said the reptile pounced as he was shopping at the store in the north-western US state of Washington.

The 47-year-old stamped on the serpent and was later treated at hospital with anti-venom, after his hand suffered serious swelling.

Wal-Mart apologised, and said it was investigating how the snake had entered the store in the city of Clarkston.

Kayla Whaling, a spokeswoman for the chain, said: "At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident.

"We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity."

Another customer, Maria Geffre, told Reuters news agency the snake was at least 1ft (30cm) long with four rattles.

Mr Craig said the serpent attacked as he reached down to brush away what he thought was a stick from a bag of mulch.

The purchase was intended for his marijuana plants, which Mr Craig said he was licensed to grow for medical reasons.
 

Heckler

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#27
ramonmercado said:
The purchase was intended for his marijuana plants, which Mr Craig said he was licensed to grow for medical reasons.
:lol: The police officers disagreed!
 
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#28
Rattlesnakes in Wal-Mart? Good. About bloody time we returned to survival of the fittest. Maybe now all the folks who shop there can loose some weight running from cougars and grizzly bears.

Actually, I don't know about the stores in Washington, but east of the Mississippi, Wal-Mart's tend to have outdoor garden areas that are only closed off by a gate. It would be pretty easy for a snake (ANY snake) to get past that. Come to think of it, I'm surprised (and perhaps a little disappointed) it doesn't happen more often. At the very least I could restock my terrariums :-D
 
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#29
ZakariyaAliSher said:
Rattlesnakes in Wal-Mart? Good. About bloody time we returned to survival of the fittest. Maybe now all the folks who shop there can loose some weight running from cougars and grizzly bears.

Actually, I don't know about the stores in Washington, but east of the Mississippi, Wal-Mart's tend to have outdoor garden areas that are only closed off by a gate. It would be pretty easy for a snake (ANY snake) to get past that. Come to think of it, I'm surprised (and perhaps a little disappointed) it doesn't happen more often. At the very least I could restock my terrariums :-D
Thats it, I'll avoid Wal-Marts!

Welcome to the board.
 
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#30
Australian teenager bitten by most venomous snake
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19739656

The Inland Taipan has the most potent venom of all snakes

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Police in Australia are investigating how a teenager near Sydney came to be bitten by the world's most venomous snake.

The 17-year-old boy was bitten on the hand by an Inland Taipan snake, which usually lives in desert areas.

The boy is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being given anti-venom.

A drop of Inland Taipan venom is enough to kill 100 people and causes paralysis.

The snake is also more commonly known as the fierce snake, because of the venom's strength rather than the reptile's temperament.

"Police are now attempting to establish how the youth came to be bitten, and hope to speak to the young man once he is considered well enough," New South Wales police said in a statement.

Officials at Mater hospital in Newcastle City, where the boy is being treated, said that the anti-venom was crucial to his survival.


"We had anti-venom in stock, we keep what's called polyvalent anti-venom and that covers all of our snakes," toxicologist Geoff Isbister told ABC News.

The Inland Taipan, described as shy and reclusive, can grow up to two metres long.

It is usually found in Australia's Northern Territory and Queensland, hundreds of miles away from the town of Kurri Kurri, on the coast to the north of Sydney, where the incident happened on Wednesday.

The police do not believe that the incident was related to a break-in at the nearby Hunter Valley Zoo on Sunday that saw the theft of four pythons and two alligators, the police statement added.

Judith Martin, from Hunter Reptile Rescue service, which handled the snake, told the BBC that it would be sent to a reptile breeding programme.
 
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