Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sundays in My City--Snakes and Klingons

Unknown Mami
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.

Definitely not!
  For more photos of people around the world, check out Unknown Mami.


  1. Ooh, you're very brave. I'm not a fan of snakes either!

  2. Okay, I like watching snakes and have even touched them but that many?? WHY TOM???

  3. whoa, 17 snake babies? yikes.

  4. Wow! There's some information I didn't expect to see today! Y

  5. No offense, Amy, but Tom is INSANE!!! Gabon vipers are one of the MOST deadly snakes in Zambia. And you now have 27 of them. How on earth has he convinced a Zambian to assist him with this project? Joshua would have put all those bags of snakes into a barrel of water to drown when Tom wasn't looking.

  6. Is his snakekeeping a hobby, or does he extract venom from them?

  7. Oh my goodness I'm kinda freaking out over here. I don't think I could be living near a snake habitat like that. You are brave. :)

    Kristin - The Goat
    via SIMC

  8. I don't like sneaks at all. Sneaks and mice give me the heebee geebees!

    Have nice Sunday, I hope your boy feels better. Try holding a cold towel over the bridge of the nose. Hope it helps.

  9. Yikes! I know they probably shouldn't, but snakes scare the daylights out of me. I could NEVER paint in there.

    Happy SIMC, jj

  10. HAHA @ todays a good day to die. Those snakes scare me!! I was lived my first 3years in an Orphanage in Hoima, Uganda. So awesome what you are doing. Have you seen my post of my folks when they were in the peace corps.. they did the same thing you are doing. Here's the link:

  11. Hmm I'm not sure how I would feel about a snake habitat! My 18 year old wants to get one, but I don't know...

    Hugs & love,

  12. Oh man, I don't think I would have been able to get close enough to photograph the snakes. Scary!

  13. Hi Amy, nice to see you again! I live in a part of India where there aren't too many snakes. We get the odd one here and there, but luckily, quite small ones. Be they ever so small, they're unmistakable, thought! Yikes.....

  14. That is SO.FRICKIN.COOL! I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read an blog that has something new and exciting and UNIQUE. If I read one more "Giveaway Blog". I will lose my lunch! This is fastinating. And YES, I noticed the Klingon T-shirt right away. FUNNY. Thanks so much for your bravery. I would have been either running in the other direction, or going to shange my underwear. Sorry if that TMI ;)

  15. I'm sure that Tom is sooo giddily happy about the baby snakes!! Can't say that I am.... but just keep praying for him.. wish he had a different hobby! Ha!! ---but that's a mom for you..
    Yes, I noticed the shirt right away, too.... who gave him that?? I think I'll start shopping now for a better shirt to give him when he comes this year, ha!
    I'd jump at anything, too if I was as close as you were... or maybe I'd just have a zoom lense for the pictures....
    Sorry, Amy. I think he got his interest in snakes while we were in Venezuela a long time ago.

  16. Oh my! I don't think I could live that close to so many snakes.

    Luv your hubby's shirt BTW! Very fitting!

  17. No way, Jose! No snake habitats in Laurieville, EVER!

    yuck, blech, ick... you are very very brave!!

  18. i realize this is an older post- but just had to say...yuck! wondering if he extracts venom or why? why? why?


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