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lower jaw mark...

Upper jawmarks...

This bite was from a female adult burmese python. Well over 15 feet and about 90 Kg... that's 1800 pound !!!!

Eventually it will happen to all reptile keepers and handlers... getting ( close to ) a bite from a reptile... In Mormel's case that means Burms... BIG burms... As you can imagine, when handling Burmese pythons you have to take some care into the things you can or cannot do. As I grow up with my snakes, I'll post my SFE's on this page, cause HONESTLY I THINK that beginner snake keepers will recognise some elements, and that might be usefull in avoiding a bite.  So let my errors WARN you all ok ?? Also I would like to state that I BELIEVE that ALMOST ALL bites are from the keepers mistake, and not the snake's... The most likely time to get a bite is at feeding time... Especially then, you have to take extreem care in what you do, otherwise you get , as they call it, a SFE, or Stupid Feeding Error. Below I will only post the - in my opinion - worst case - events, READ ON IF YOU CAN STAND THE AGONY !!!,

Last upload : n.a

Updated 01-01-2005 ( see the 2 pics above here !! )

snake showed normal behaviour, no signs of whatsoever..

Incident with : Bami, a full blown 15 feet female burmese, well over 90 KG's.

Why handling : normal handling session

Who got the bite : ....me....

Bitemarks at victem : see the 2 pics above here....

Yep it was a very interesting experience.... For the very first time, I had my hand in a full grown female.. Only shitty thing was the fact that she hold it a bit harder than planned :P What happened ?? Well, as the new year came close I decided to move one of the females from the holding tank, to a main enclosure. Thatway she could warmup some more before we breed her. Well, the second I came close enough to touch the head end, she opened up and got a ferm grip on my hand... She started very slowly to move her body into strangulation position, and I did nothing untill I could get my leggs around her body. Holding away the bulk of her body with my legs, I called my 1st helper nearby, and told him to hold the body away from me, but very carefully, cause if we moved, she grasped my hand harder.. At the same time I tried to get her behind the neck, with my free hand. The second helper got hold of a wooden stick, and wrenched it between her yaws.. Carefully missing my hand that was in there !! At that time I felt that she was willing to let go, and warned !! everyone that she was comming loose. The second she did, The helpers all took a safe distance, and I Hold her by the neck, and wresteld her back in the tank... The door was shut.... and I got first aid for my severely bleeding hand..

But remember... snakes are fun... !!

If I were alone when this had happened, I would have had a 10 % change.... of living to tell..

THANKS LEON AND TRUDY !!!

will be updated more !!
 

 

 

27-10-2002 at 20:12 :

snake showed normal behavioer, little more hungry due to diet, a little active...

Incident with : Melanie, 1.5 year old Burmese female at 2.3 meters, 15 KG.

Why handling : Feeding time...

Who got the bite : ....me....

Bitemarks at victem :

( that also usually means me !!!! ! ) : Yeah..Plenty this time... X-(  The full upperyaw teethmarks ( actually all 3 of them !! ) are clearly visible on the area just where the thumb meets the hand, at my left hand, palm facing down . Teeth went in 1 cm deep, and punctured a bloodvessle or 2.. that causes a nice deep blue hammerage to deploy below the skin. Also about 30 Bottom yaw teeth marks are at the thick fleshy part of the thumb when facing palms up.. It hurted like hell, and blood was all over the place.... but Remember :

It's fun to have snakes... 

here's a recap :

TEXT IN RED : is what we think to be the signs of MELANIE !!! showing more than interest..

TEXT IN BLUE : is action taken by my handlers and/or things you might try if...

TEXT IN PURPLE is additional safety info...

THINGS WRITTEN LIKE THIS ARE WRONG TO DO !!!!!

Ok so it was feeding time in here... Since Mel ( anie ) is larger than 2 meters, I always have someone nearby that I TRUST TO BE A STABLE PERSON !!! At feeding time I tend to feed her at different locations, so she will not associate the opening of the cage door, with feeding time... As I approced the enclosure however, she already was eagerly looking where that great smelling rat was, we had in the room prior to feedingtime... It was brought by at the day we started feeding, but next times it will go in at the second of feeding !!! Snakes can smell a rat from ages away...; That's what triggert Mel into premature !! feeding mode...

I opened the enclosure, letting Mel know I was there, and acted like a normal handling session was about to start. Thatway she will not take for granted that every time she get's out of the cage, she will be fed. Keeping everyone present at a safe distance I placed Mel in front of the enclosure, and let her settle for a sec... It was clear that she was hungry, looking at everything that moved. From this moment on , even my lovely Melanie, CANNOT !!! be trusted. And I found out again the hard way...

After feeding her, we waited about 2 minutes, making sure the prey was fully down, and Melanie ready to get her back into the enclosure. Mind you that this procedure goes for EVERYTIME we had her fed outside the cage, so I expected nothing to happen.... Boy was I wrong. As I was the one holding the rat prior to feeding, and "forgot" TO WASH UP !!! before I got to Mel to return her afterwards, things turned for the worst.... the next couple of minutes had me worried.... pretty worried. I knew that she could not pose a lethal thread to me yet..., but it was the first time ever that she was this furioes.. What happened ??

As I slowly reached out towards the middle part of Mel, with my right hand, I came forward with my left, to get her behind the neck, also a routine procedure ( I thought )... At that split second, she turned 90, reached out, and got me just behind the area where the thumb meets the hand.  She grabbed, got a ferm hold... and worst of all, locked on tight, and started to stangulate my arm... BIGTIME !!! As experince has made me docile in the last years, I did not !! pull back on my hand, and dropped to my knees, trying not to move my hand with Mel on it what so ever. As I dropped down, she grabbed even fermer to my hand, wich started bleeding pretty badly. Blood always looks awefull... Anyways, as I grabbed some common sense, I did not move a muscle in my arm, cause Mel would only grasp harder. At that time I called Ruud, my handler near me. I told him to get a firm grip BEHIND the mouth, at the highest possible spot in her neck and hold, thus making sure that if she came loose, she could not bite either one of us.... I started at the same time to unwrap her coils from my arm, helped by Ruuds other arm... The mouth was still fully locked on my hand at that time... As we progressed to get her body loosened up a bit, she also realised that her actions were futtile, and made a ( painfull !! ) attempt to get her top yaw loose... If you have almost 2.5 meter snakes, watch them when finished strangulating, and start unlocking the top yaw off a prey animal... I KNOW HOW THAT FEELS !!!!! ( ... )  Melanie was in a ( lucky for me ) 180 % rotation at that time, thus meaning that she was turned  upside down without moving the head. Now she really tried to get het mouth freed from my flesh !!! Eventually she broke free... As we did not trust her at all, the sec she let me loose I took her from Ruud, grabbing firmly behind the neck, held her away from my body, and got her into the enclosure faster then ever... This shows that whatever you do, DO NOT SMELL LIKE A PREY ANIMAL DURING FEEDING !!...

Also, when a common snake ( corn or whatever smaller species ) bites ya, and locks on, try if you will the following... :

Get a bucket of reasonable warm or pretty cold water, and submerge the arm with the snake... if it's on another place of the body, try the shower, or a water hose...

I AM AGAINST THE FOLLOWING METHOD, BUT SINCE IT PROOVES ITSELF TIME AFTER TIME I'LL POST IT !!! :

Take a cloth drenced in something containing plenty of alcohol, 99% will do well, but hurts the snake also a lot. Try a distilled one for a change.., whiskey or Vodka ( need some 40 % atleast ) and hold it against the nose of the snake... it will let go !! Of the above mentioned methods, I use neither of them, and will utterly try to make it come off me, with the help of the ever deticated handlers :-)))