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Old 07-18-04, 07:38 AM   #54 (permalink)
Jeff Hathaway
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 46
Posts: 460
I haven't seen the TV spots, but I did hear a little about this while on the road this week.

No doubt, I don't have a high opinion of the 'Schrammites'. This extremely negative publicity stunt only lowers it further. Good luck out there in BC, guys, and if any more by-laws get proposed you can be sure I'll send letters.

However, a couple of things I'd mention in light of some of the comments here.

Certainly, pythons don't bite and constrict in defense. Taking away her eggs isn't going to result in anything more than a few defensive bites in a worst case scenario where an absolute idiot who couldn't figure out that you could use a hook to control the snakes head reached in to grab the eggs. However, it would be wrong to say that these animals cannot be dangerous. Even defensive bites from large specimens can be a problem. Anyone remember the pic of Dave Barker's big retic bite on his thigh? I think it was DB, anyway. That bite could have caused life threatening injury (perforation of the femoral artery). Sure, it was unusual, but it can happen. Also, even a 10' rock or burm, in a constriction (i.e. feeding accident) theoretically has enough strength to kill an adult human male under some circumstances. Recall the Mark Neville incident in Brampton, ON in the early '90s?

While I would certainly refute the statements made about rock pythons 'eating kids', etc., or that one mistake could be his last, I wouldn't say that they're really safe animals either.

I personally see no problem with them destroying the eggs. Do we really need more rock pythons floating around in the pet trade? I'd do the same if our burm laid fertile eggs. I have done it with other things, and I know other people who have done it as well. I find it hard to believe that it has made the national news, but that's the media for you. Sad, indeed, that it has been so one-sided.

I also wouldn't crucify them for housing the snakes together. I'd rather see them do a good job (not saying they do, though) of one big cage for a snake or two than having two not-so-good ones. The companionship stuff is simply crap, but I think a reasonable case can be made for housing them together to save space and/or money. Sure, it adds some risk of incidents, but it can be done reasonably safely.

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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