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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/590

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�Keeper Charles Snyder, of the reptile house, Bronx Zoo, New York, extracting snake venom

IF you are quick and fearless you may manage any snake so long as you are armed with a cane or a piece of wood like a cane. Push the snake around in any way that you can in order to prevent him from coiling. When you have him in just the right position, make a very quick move and place your cane across his neck, just behind his head. Then you have him. He cannot get out of control. Now bend down and grasp the snake in the place where your cane rests, just behind his head. With your left hand put his body under your right arm. No matter how enraged the reptile may be he can do no harm as long as you hold him in this position. His body is held by your arm against your side so he cannot coil around you or around any convenient object.

In handling snakes in the house it is essential to keep away from furniture or anything which the snake could coil about. They are very strong and once they get themselves wrapped around any object it is exceeding- ly difficult to pry them loose.

Pike county, Penn- sylvania, is known for

��Handling Live Rattlers

How professional snake hunters manage the most venomous rep- tiles and extract their poison

By A. M. Jungmann

the number of rattlesnakes which infest certain parts of it. Men make a business of catching these dangerous snakes. They are sold alive to museums and to individuals for exhibition and other purposes. The snake hunters of Pike county employ the rnethod described when catching the rep- tiles. They carry them home in sacks and store them away in a wooden bin. When the hunter desires to show one of his captives he reaches into the bin, dexterously whips out a rattler and throws him on the floor. Then he holds out an old hat to the angered snake and permits him to strike it repeatedly. By the time the snake has bitten the hat several times it has exhausted * its supply of venom. But even then there would be enough venom left in the fangs to do harm. The hunter, however, feels that the chances are in his favor and does not hesitate to handle the snake freely.

When a poisonous snake wishes to bite, or strike, an enemy, it rears its head, lowers its under jaw and elevates its upper jaw in such a way that the fangs are directed straight forward. Then it strikes with incredible swiftness. When the fangs strike, the poison sacs are opened and the venom is injected into the victim as with a hyper- dermic syringe. The action of snake venom is very rapid. Small animals and birds fall to the ground immediately upon being struck. They become paralyzed and die in a few minutes.

Removal of the fangs does not make a snake safe to handle, because as soon as one set of fangs is removed others grow. They are supplied with two fangs in the upper jaw. Once in a great while, as in the case of the moccasin pictured on the following page, a snake may have three fangs, a new one having grown in before the old one fell out. Some snakes will inject as much as a teaspoonful of ven- om into an enemy. Poisonous snakes

���In case of snake-bite you would need a razor to open the wound, anti-venom serum, a syringe for injecting it and a rubber bandage


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