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D1nk0
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28 Apr 2008, 1:46 pm

I noticed there was a "Reptile appreciation thread" and most of you herpers here are snake ethusiasts I take it.
Im curious to know firsthand if any of you snake lovers have ownder or handled venomous snakes :skull:
There was a time a few years ago when I was VERY Serious about taking this up as a hobby. My favorite snakes are all Highly venomous and there's a Thrill that goes along with keeping dangerous creatues as pets :twisted: . Moving on past snakes-is there Anyone here who is interested in and/or owns Monitor Lizards? I REALLY like them-in fact I SO totally want a Salvadori Monitor(the Longest Lizard in the World 8) As big as a Komodo Dragon but not quite as heavy) which can grow up to 10+Feet long! 8O



creepycrawly36
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28 Apr 2008, 2:36 pm

We have had ball pythons and red racers only, not into venomous or anything larger. We got into snakes as family friends because of severe allergies to fur and feathers.



jawbrodt
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28 Apr 2008, 2:46 pm

We have Timber Rattlesnakes and Copperheads here. I was thinking about catching a few, as pets. :)


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28 Apr 2008, 2:55 pm

I would love to have a pet snake (but not venomous).


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EvilKimEvil
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28 Apr 2008, 5:56 pm

I'm one of the herpers (the one responsible for the Reptile Appreciation Thread). I like snakes and lizards. I have a kingsnake and a legless lizard. I'm a big fan of venomous snakes, but I won't consider getting one until I have at least ten years of experience with keeping reptiles and a good mentor.

It is important to be responsible about venomous herps because most of the laws against keeping them are inspired by irresponsible behavior. This irresponsible behavior is not always intentional (like handling snakes while intoxicated); it can easily result from lack of experience. I plan to work my way up towards "hots" by keeping increasingly challenging nonvenomous snakes.

Monitor lizards are not considered beginner herps either, but they are not as dangerous as the venomous snakes that are popular. There might be some monitor-like species that would be OK as a first herp, but I don't know enough about them to say which one.

To get more info on monitors and venomous snakes, you should check out Kingsnake. It's got a lot of resources and a forum frequented by highly experienced herp keepers. They'll provide good answers to your questions as long as you don't ask something that you could answer on your own through searching the web or the forum. I think there are some other good herp sites out there too. And there's always the local library.



EvilKimEvil
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28 Apr 2008, 6:11 pm

Oh, and to answer your question:

I've been around venomous snakes. I've handled containers containing venomous snakes - a gaboon viper and a monocled cobra (my avatar). I wouldn't want to ever handle one without any tools. Even when they're contained, they're kind of scary - because I understand what they're capable of and how little it would take for something to go seriously wrong. But, yes, the danger is part of the appeal!



D1nk0
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28 Apr 2008, 6:51 pm

I kinda want a Red Spitting Cobra 8) . Their bites arent particularly dangerous but if they spit in your eye they can certainly cause blindness. Im told they only bite when conered or during feeding time. I have never had an interest in keeping or handling vipers. But lately my interest has been in Monitor Lizards-particulary the Salvadori(or Crocodile)Monitor which certainly CAN be very dangerous and possibly deadly when fully grown. The Croc Monitor is considered by herpetologist to be the MOST intelligent reptile. The only thing really stopping me from getting one is that I dont have the space for it and the climate I live in is waaay too cold-so I would have to keep it indoors most of the year :( . If I lived in the south I certainly would get one; I'd get it as a hatchling and watch it grow up.



supahneko
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28 Apr 2008, 7:37 pm

D1nk0 wrote:
...and there's a Thrill that goes along with keeping dangerous creatues as pets :twisted:

Like skunks? They do make good pets...



EvilKimEvil
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28 Apr 2008, 9:49 pm

D1nk0 wrote:
I kinda want a Red Spitting Cobra 8) . Their bites arent particularly dangerous but if they spit in your eye they can certainly cause blindness. Im told they only bite when conered or during feeding time.


I would not count on any of those assumptions. You never know. Naja padilla are fascinating animals, but they are not easy to maintain in captivity.

Have you kept snakes before? If so, what species and for how long? I strongly recommend starting with something less challenging than Naja padilla. It does not have to be a cornsnake or a kingsnake or a ball python, but there are no Elapids or Vipers that are not very challenging to keep.

You could get a hognose snake. They have some dramatic behaviors reminiscent of venomous snakes. A hognose will flatten its neck like a cobra, shake its tail like a rattlesnake, play dead, and hiss of course. Look into different Colubrids and the smaller Boas and Pythons. And try to focus on species that are available Captive Bred. Wild-Caught animals come with a lot of extra issues like parasites, refusing to feed, defensive biting, etc.

D1nk0 wrote:
But lately my interest has been in Monitor Lizards-particulary the Salvadori(or Crocodile)Monitor which certainly CAN be very dangerous and possibly deadly when fully grown. The Croc Monitor is considered by herpetologist to be the MOST intelligent reptile. The only thing really stopping me from getting one is that I dont have the space for it and the climate I live in is waaay too cold-so I would have to keep it indoors most of the year :( . If I lived in the south I certainly would get one; I'd get it as a hatchling and watch it grow up.


All monitors should be kept in an enclosure. They cannot be allowed to roam free in the house or yard. They have temperature and humidity requirements that can only be maintained in an enclosure. They are also unpredictable and always potentially dangerous, even if they seem tame.

People living in all kinds of climates own monitors. The issue isn't where you live but whether you are able to provide for your monitor. Can you afford to feed it? Can you build a large enough cage? Can you afford all the equipment to keep the temps and humidity at the right levels? Can you afford the electric bills? Can you afford to take it to the vet when necessary? Do you mind being seriously injured by a friendly, playful bite or tail whipping? Can you afford to go to the ER for stitches when your tame monitor accidentally gives you a little nip or whips you with its tail?

As with the snake, you might want to start out with a less challenging, less dangerous species. Even green iguanas, as popular as they are, are not beginner lizards. They also grow to be large and aggressive. You don't have to start with a common lizard, but it is helpful to keep something that is relatively harmless and easy so that you get used to the routine of keeping a lizard and dealing with any issues related to lizards in general before you have a species that will present a lot of unique challenges.

Herps are a lot of fun, but they are not easy to keep. Their requirements are unlike other captive animals and there is not a whole lot of information about them - you have to learn through experience.



D1nk0
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29 Apr 2008, 12:54 am

IF I were to get and keep a venomous snake I would most certainly hire or persuade an experienced herper to train me how to do it. Now WHERE exactly are you getting your information on Montior Lizards? There ARE climes here in the continental US that are quite similar to their native climate(Papua New Guinea). Here in Portland Oregon I certainly would run up HUGE electric bills in order to provide the necessary heat to keep it warm and I dont have an enclosure big enough for it...YET. So that will have to wait. Im the very impatient type of person who doesnt like to start small so I dont know how much further I will pursue this hobby right now, but perhaps someday. It turns out though that in Oregon it IS legal to keep Flying Foxes from the family pteropodinae in private captivity! Im excited cuz 6 years ago I got an offer from a woman who breeds Egyptian Fruit Bats but I was living in WA state where such is strictly illegal. But I shall read further on the keeping of Monitor Lizards. So WHAT do you know about Walterinnesia Aegyptica?



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29 Apr 2008, 1:22 am

Interesting thread. Thanks for the forum link, EvilKim. I took a herpetology class a few years ago. Gave a few local demonstrations with water snakes, kingsnakes, etc. Went on a couple of field trips to swamps to see cottonmouths and gators upclose. The instructor of the class kept copperheads and rattlesnakes along with non poisonous species. I've touched them but not directly handled them. He also had a snapping turtle that would take a finger with a blink of the eye. Good stuff as he was fond of saying.

I went the direction of more mainstream medicine-science. I miss doing those things and just being outside in nature.



sluice
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29 Apr 2008, 1:26 am

Interesting thread. Thanks for the forum link, EvilKim. I took a herpetology class a few years ago. Gave a few local demonstrations with water snakes, kingsnakes, etc. Went on a couple of field trips to swamps to see cottonmouths and gators upclose. The instructor of the class kept copperheads and rattlesnakes along with non poisonous species. I've touched them but not directly handled them. He also had a snapping turtle that would take a finger with a blink of the eye. Good stuff as he was fond of saying.

I went the direction of more mainstream medicine-science. I miss doing those things and just being outside in nature.



silentchaos
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29 Apr 2008, 7:30 pm

While there are certain areas in the US that can support a varanus salvadorii through out the year it would still require an outdoor enclosure. You simply cannot let one roam around. And the only places where you could would be south florida. I personally love croc monitors, especially the shape of their head and eyes. I have owned some really big and nasty iguanas and a few monitors in the past(savanah and black throat monitors) and I wouldn't consider myself capable of safely caring for a big crocodile monitor :? . You should really look into some of the other large monitor species or tegus.

As for venomous snakes....as with any other snake I absolutely love them :D . I have been around and handled (with hooks and sticks of course) copperheads and cottonmouths when I have been lucky enough to find them. I really really really...really want a copperhead, I am confident that I could care for it safely but I live with my parents and sister... I am going to wait until i move out before i get anything that can cost someone a finger. Well for snakes atleast, i have some spiders that could do more than take off a finger but spiders are not capable of biting you unless you pretty much poke them in the face. I can't say that I would ever buy any elapid of the spitting variety. You should really check out the posts about them on kingsnake,venomlist,faunaclassifieds,etc. Most people that own them have a ton of trouble with them, they are also not as shy about biting as you may think. There is a video on youtube by a pretty experienced keeper with his red spitter and it strikes at him more than once :lol: . Have you looked at false water cobras or boiga? If you want something that will give you a rush either of those can put you in a good deal of pain with no risk of death, and the boiga will be more than happy to do it any day of the week.

When it comes to front fanged venomous snakes there really is no choice about going in big. You really need to start with something that cannot both kill you and seriously damage other peoples' professions in a split second. But you really should get into the hobby, i can guarantee you that if you get a snake to train for another you will end up with five before you even think about why you bought the first. :D

Fruit bats are awesome too! I think they are illegal in alabama...It really sucks because they are probably one of the last things that should be illegal.

This is where I got my avatar from, a big timber rattler that was in the middle of a road.

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D1nk0
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29 Apr 2008, 10:39 pm

If you lived in Florida for instance and had a big back yard; why couldnt you put it on say a 60foot rope? Or course you'd need a dogcollar but I know a woman here in Oregon who has a savannah monitor and she puts him in a harness and takes him out on a leash in the summertime 8) .I dont doubt that Croc Monitors are dangerous, they're also extrodinarily intelligent. Herpetologists often claim them to be the smartest of ALL reptiles. I would NEVER get a WC Croc Monitor, I would get a captive bred hatchling and raise it into adulthood.Herpers can be quite egotistical and patronizing to novices I must say :P . If I were to get a nonvenomous snake it would most certainly be either a Yellow ratsnake or a Taiwan beauty snake. The former are quite mean and aggressive I hear and bite frequently. BTW, have any of you herpers worked with large constrictors? I personally would NEVER want to even get near them without a protective barrier! They are in fact the MOST dangerous of all snakes because once a large(10'+)python has its coils around you-there is NOTHING you can really do. An 18' python can exert up to 5,000lbs of force on a human body. Unless you have somebody else there to grab the tip of its tail and bend it backwards you're pretty much DEAD :skull: Not to mention the fact that they give NO warning when they are about to strike.

silentchaos wrote:
While there are certain areas in the US that can support a varanus salvadorii through out the year it would still require an outdoor enclosure. You simply cannot let one roam around. And the only places where you could would be south florida. I personally love croc monitors, especially the shape of their head and eyes. I have owned some really big and nasty iguanas and a few monitors in the past(savanah and black throat monitors) and I wouldn't consider myself capable of safely caring for a big crocodile monitor :? . You should really look into some of the other large monitor species or tegus.

As for venomous snakes....as with any other snake I absolutely love them :D . I have been around and handled (with hooks and sticks of course) copperheads and cottonmouths when I have been lucky enough to find them. I really really really...really want a copperhead, I am confident that I could care for it safely but I live with my parents and sister... I am going to wait until i move out before i get anything that can cost someone a finger. Well for snakes atleast, i have some spiders that could do more than take off a finger but spiders are not capable of biting you unless you pretty much poke them in the face. I can't say that I would ever buy any elapid of the spitting variety. You should really check out the posts about them on kingsnake,venomlist,faunaclassifieds,etc. Most people that own them have a ton of trouble with them, they are also not as shy about biting as you may think. There is a video on youtube by a pretty experienced keeper with his red spitter and it strikes at him more than once :lol: . Have you looked at false water cobras or boiga? If you want something that will give you a rush either of those can put you in a good deal of pain with no risk of death, and the boiga will be more than happy to do it any day of the week.

When it comes to front fanged venomous snakes there really is no choice about going in big. You really need to start with something that cannot both kill you and seriously damage other peoples' professions in a split second. But you really should get into the hobby, i can guarantee you that if you get a snake to train for another you will end up with five before you even think about why you bought the first. :D

Fruit bats are awesome too! I think they are illegal in alabama...It really sucks because they are probably one of the last things that should be illegal.

This is where I got my avatar from, a big timber rattler that was in the middle of a road.

Image



EvilKimEvil
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29 Apr 2008, 11:54 pm

D1nk0 wrote:
If I were to get a nonvenomous snake it would most certainly be either a Yellow ratsnake or a Taiwan beauty snake. The former are quite mean and aggressive I hear and bite frequently.


Yeah, you should get one of those. I don't mean to sound patronizing - I just know what tends to happen when people get venomous snakes without having much experience with less challenging species. For instance, I had a friend who got a Gaboon Viper after only owning a few kingsnakes for a couple of months. He got a CB hatchling at a herp show. Fortunately, he found a good mentor and took it seriously, but I think he now realizes he got into hots too fast. The Gaboon has grown very quickly, generates a lot of waste, and does not have the docile temperament that is supposed to be characteristic of that species. He still loves vipers and wants more, but he has a better understanding of why people are advised to gain more experience before getting one.

Having a kingsnake and a legless lizard has taught me that any species becomes a lot more interesting and complicated when you're interacting with it on a daily basis. When I first got my lizard, I handled it like it was a venomous snake because it's a large species with strong jaws and a tendency to bite. They eat snails in the wild so they need strong jaws to crush the shells. Now that I've been handling him regularly for several months, he's grown tamer, and I've gotten to observe a lot of interesting behaviors.

I've never worked with a large constrictor. Personally, I'm not really drawn to the largers boas and pythons. I like Colubrids, Vipers, Elapids, and some of the smaller Boas.

From what I know about monitors, the idea of treating them like dogs (collar, chain, treats, or whatever) is a topic of debate. I'm sure there are some interesting arguments on both sides, but if I were you, I'd find a reputable breeder and talk to them about it, since you plan to get a CB hatchling anyway. And there are probably some books that address the issue, since monitors seem to be popular captives these days.

Once you get a reptile - no matter what kind - it's easy to become completely obsessed!



D1nk0
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30 Apr 2008, 2:02 am

Oh I have no doubt EvilKimEvil :D Lately Im actually more interested in Monitor Lizards than snakes in terms of a pet that I would actually keep. The former are smarter and much more entertaining IMPO. Im curious though about people who treat their large monitors like dogs...........AFAIK the CM and the Komodo Dragon are both top carnivores in their native habitat. Essentially their the Reptilian Wolves of the spice islands.