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Old 10-02-11, 01:50 PM   #1
Aaron_S
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Re: looking for a hots mentor ...

I'm taking this from another forum and it isn't his own personal recollection but it's going to be recounted here just as it was there. It is BY NO MEANS a guide to anyone wanting a hot in their collection but something to think about. That this isn't an overnight sensation and that this CAN kill you or disfigure you!

Welcome to Hot Elementary School

Kindergarten: This is your beginning in hot keeping - Day One of training for keeping of venomous reptiles when you get acquainted with the tools of the trade. The snake hooks come in all shapes and sizes from little collapsible that are no more than 6 inches to massive python hooks up to 8 feet long. Snake probes that look like your mothers knitting needless. Snake tubes, plastic tubes for placing snakes in for safe handling that look more suitable for holding paper towels or toilet paper then putting snakes in. Tongs for grabbing snakes that make you think you're picking up trash in a park rather then picking up snakes. If you thought on day one you would be handling the animals, think again. You have to be good at the tools of the trade and comfortable with them on nonvenomous snakes before getting close to the real animals.

First Grade: Your trainer says, "Are you ready for some fun today?" Your eyes are bright and bulging starring at the hot room, and dreams of working with venomous snakes are bouncing through your head. Your teacher tells you that the ball python cages are dirty and need cleaning as do all the other nonvenomous animals. Your heart sinks and your nose curls as you realize that this is not going to be a quick deal to work with venomous but a long slow process where you will be putting in your dues.

Your teacher walks out with you and says that every cage needs to be cleaned and every animal needs to be treated as though it were HOT. You must use the proper tools to safely remove them out of the cage and place them in a safety container. Then you must clean the cages and replace the animal using the same safety procedures. At this point you're thinking, "I am this guy's slave just for cleaning cages and am never going to get to handle the venomous I want to."

Second Grade: After several weeks of working under the supervision of your trainer cleaning ball python cages, you hear him / her say OK today we work with the hots. Your heart stops, your eyes bulge and you think, "Finally I get to work with them." He walks toward the hot room, you hot on his heels and he stops you at the door and says you stand here. He then walks in and opens a cobra's cage. You are thinking all right my turn's coming, and he says here go clean this cage and repaper it.

Back to cage cleaner you go. All day long you repeat this procedure watching him over and over again removing the animals himself you wish to work with and handing you the cage to clean. This goes on for several weeks with you watching him handling. You are thinking, "Why did I even want to learn from this guy," or "Why do I even want to be here if I can't handle the snakes myself. I am just a cage cleaner for this person but hey, at least I get to see the snakes."

Third Grade: Finally after several months of cage cleaning you walk in and he says, "Sit down, we need to talk." You are wondering what is going on what have I done wrong my teacher looks so serious and is wanting to have a sit down, there goes my training, I have #$%^&#$%^&#$%^&#$%^&#$%^&#$%^& him off or something. He says, "OK Joe/Jane. What have you learned in the last few months?" You pause and think, You say well I have learned how to use tongs and hooks so many times cleaning cages that they are like an appendage of my own body. I have learned how to get the snakes out of their cages without getting bit. I can smell a dirty tank at 50 paces or a regurge at 100 yards.

Your trainer says, "OK have you been bit since you started using the tools here or at home?" You think No, I no longer just reach in to a cage without thinking.

Your trainer asks, "Are your own cages kept cleaner now?" You think yes they are I can now smell them when they are dirty and IM more alert to cleaning them on site also.

Your trainer asks, "Do you just open cages now without looking first?" You stop and think no, I now look for the animal in all cages before opening. Congratulations Mr. Cage Cleaner - without your knowledge your trainer broke the bad habits that could have gotten you killed. You now look before opening a cage. You now use the proper tools for handling. You now pay more attention to what you are about to do instead of just reaching in and grabbing the animal.

Your keeper says, "OK today we need to sex some animals. Today you get some hands on training." Your thinking to yourself hot dog I get to get some animals out and probe them and handle them. As you and your trainer walk towards the door he stops you again and says wait here. He walks in the room and opens up an Eastern diamondback's cage and hooks the animal out. You're thinking that it's very dangerous for two people to be in the room he is going to bring it out here for me to work with. As you watch in disbelief as he manipulates it in to a tube and then picks it up and says, "OK go ahead and probe it".

Fourth Grade: Well, now you are at least getting to touch the venomous reptiles even though you have probably probed many snakes of your own. You watch your trainer get out many snakes for probing. You see him carefully open the boxes/cages they are in, being sure to keep his body parts away from the strike range of the animals. You watch him take his time with the animals to manipulate them into the tubes. After doing this for some time he says to you OK come in the room. You are thinking, "OK now I'm going to what sweep the floor mop it maybe or get clean some of the empty cages. After all I am The Great Cage Cleaner." You're thinking, "Man, I have been doing this for 4 months now and the closest I get is to their poop or the poop shoot." When out of the blue your trainer says OK open that box up over there it's all yours.
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