Tom decided that this weekend was the right time to clean and paint the inside of our snake habitat.
I'll try to remember to post a pretty picture when it is looking all nice and snazzy.
Another reason it needed to be done this weekend was because one of our Gaboon Vipers had 17(!) babies. We watched them being born. Well, I took a tiny peak and then ran for the safety of my living room. Later on, as Tom described the birth with all the joy of a proud papa, I nearly lost my lunch. As you may remember, I'm not exactly a fan of creepy, crawly things.
The snake habitat is actually set up really well. They have fresh water in the little hollow, rocks and branches with fake leaves. Tom throws rats and mice down there regularly --less rats running around and well-fed, satisfied snakes--so everyone is happy.
The glass is removed from the front of the habitat and the snakes herded to that little hole at the back of the cage.
The hole leads to this wooden passage. There are two boards fitting into slots in the passage. A larger box is fitted over the passage and a gunny sack is attached to that box with nails. Both slots are pulled out so the snake can travel down the passage and fall into the gunny sack. Once the slots are back in place, the bag is tied shut and then the nails are removed.
Once the bag is secure it is dropped into a large drum where the snakes will stay until the habitat is clean and freshly painted. There are 3-5 snakes in each bag.
Tom carefully directs the snakes to the back of the cage and into the passage way. He says that when the snakes are poked on their tails it annoys them and they move.
Like I said earlier, I am not a fan of snakes and bravely stood by and took pictures for the entertainment and education of you, my lovely readers. Every once in a while I would jump two feet in the air if my camera unexpectedly vibrated or a fly landed on my leg. Once it was because I had taken a tiny step backward and a dry leaf crunched under my foot. I guess that can count as my cardio workout for the day. My heart rate sure was up.
Tom and his helper bagged up a total of 10 grown Gaboon Vipers, 3 Puff Adders and 17 baby Gaboon Vipers. As I watched Tom work, there was a little something that bothered me. I realised it was his shirt.
Do you think that is the right motto to be sporting on your shirt as you work with poisonous snakes. No, I don't think so.
For more photos of people around the world, check out Unknown Mami.