Is Keeping Poisonous Snakes Really Safe?

keeping snakes as pets

Many people keep pet snakes. The Boa Constrictor and Python are two of the most popular pet snakes. Some people are rationally or irrationally frightened of any and all snakes. People who keep pet snakes defend their them as non-aggressive and even loving — although it is uncertain if snakes actually form bonds with humans or merely tolerate them.

Venomous Snakes as Pets

While it has been suggested that the danger quotient of keeping poisonous snakes is on par with sky diving, bungee jumping, and car racing, most snake people would disagree. Keeping any snake as a pet is looked upon dimly by many, but add venom to the mix and it ups the judgment factor into the area of crazy.  The question being asked is, “Why keep a pet that can kill you?”  If this question is examined logically, it makes little sense.

People keep all manner of animals that are able to kill, or seriously injure, them. A horse, weighing in anywhere from 900 to 1100 pounds on average, and much more for some others, can easily kill in many ways.  A horse can throw his rider, causing severe injury or death.  He can trample a person, either in fear or from malice, and he can rear up and fall on his rider.  Pet dogs have been known to attack and kill people also. Naturally, it is understood that venomous snakes are considered far more dangerous than a dog or horse, and is therefore not on par with those animals, which is true.

The Allure

From the beginning of time, human have been drawn to animals.  We love to watch animals – in the zoo, in the wild, on TV, and in front of the fireplace.  We long to subdue them – through domestication, keeping on display, and in various cages, both inside and out.  We make TV shows about them, write books about them, and take pictures of them.  We want to know their secrets.

This, then, is the allure of keeping “hot” snakes.  It is said that there are two kinds of people who keep hot snakes: the ones who admire these amazing animals and idiots – idiots being those who obtain a hot snake for the wrong reasons and have no clue of how to keep them safely or care for them.  The admirers will have thoroughly researched the type of snake they keep and know everything there is to know about safety and care, as well as the proper steps to take to ensure that these snakes are fully contained in an escape proof room.

The Legalities

Laws and regulations regarding keeping venomous snakes are becoming stiffer in all states, and all areas.  Urban location regulations are, understandably, more strict than rural location regulations, but more states are cracking down on private owners of venomous snakes, so in many states the option to have a venomous snake will be off the table.

What’s Next?

For those who reside in states where keeping hot snakes is legal and have decided to move forward with obtaining a venomous snake, it is imperative to prepare fully before bringing the snake home.  Prepare a proper habitat, consult other family members and neighbors on their views, and consult local hospitals to formulate a plan of action should something go wrong.  Many hospitals are not equipped with anti-venom or skills needed to treat a snakebite victim.  Once you have all your bases covered, you may proceed with caution.

Additional Reading:  Bedding For Your Pet Snake

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Do you own poisonous snakes?


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