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Snakes and kids

By IrishPete - 10 January 2014 41

So, hands up who thinks it’s a good idea to allow a 5-6 foot snake to wrap itself around a small child’s head?

[Canberra Times Missing Snake story]

What’s Your opinion?


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41 Responses to
Snakes and kids
1
Gershwin 9:48 am
10 Jan 14
#

It really depends on how fond you are of said kid.

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2
Ben_Dover 10:05 am
10 Jan 14
#

I do! More snakes, less kids, the world will be a better place.

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3
Pitchka 10:11 am
10 Jan 14
#

Id let it wrap itself around your head (neck perhaps?) IP!

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4
maxblues 11:10 am
10 Jan 14
#

I’d like to think Charles Kogan and Malcolm The Snake are on the lam in a Mazda 121.

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5
Thumper 1:02 pm
10 Jan 14
#

Not sure that I want a 6 foot constrictor around my neck, cute as it is……

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6
c_c™ 1:14 pm
10 Jan 14
#

It’s a Python, it’s non venomous and while there is some hazard when handling any animal, it was under supervision. I handled them when I was young, even had one much larger than that coiled around me and I’m still alive. In fact it was a great experience because I’ve never bought into the over the top fears and silly stereotypes many people have about snakes, fantastic learning experience.

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7
Dork 2:40 pm
10 Jan 14
#

My hands are up.

Let me ask you something, if this was an educational thing, for example the science expo, would you be okay with it?

Because the same thing happens at those, no one seems to have a problem with it, it’s up to the parent and the child. I’m sure if the child was frightened it wouldn’t have happened. I’m also sure that if the owner had concerns for the childs safety in any way, it wouldn’t have happened. People who commented on the facebook post instilling fear does not help.

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8
maxblues 3:16 pm
10 Jan 14
#

As far as I am aware, there has never been a case of an Australian Diamond Python taking a human, but they have been known to take revenge on feral cats.

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9
IrishPete 7:29 pm
10 Jan 14
#

So there seem to be varying opinions on the safety. Of 8 comments, not counting mine, 4 are dubious, 3 confident and one not commenting directly.

IP

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10
Morelia 8:28 pm
10 Jan 14
#

Based on said photo and the owner’s comments, perfectly fine.

The snake isn’t constricting at all, just using the kid’s hat for purchase. The comments suggest the animal is extremely used to being handled. That, and the python’s relaxed pose in the photo, tell me that at the time the photo was taken, the snake was not afraid (which might cause it to either attack, or put a strangle-hold around the kid’s neck for purchase).

The child is clearly enjoying himself and not uncertain (uncertainty in snake handling leads to not providing a stable purchase for the animal, which again leads to tighter holding-on). Also, the child is many, many times too big to be thought of as prey for the snake. The adult male in the background of the photo (photographer unknown) is close enough and strong enough to easily extricate the child had any issues arisen.

Source: amateur herpetologist of eight years. (My username is from the latin name, Morelia Spilota; carpet python).

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11
astrojax 9:40 pm
10 Jan 14
#

looks entirely fine to me…

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12
Tooks 7:53 am
11 Jan 14
#

The little tacker would be safer with that snake than with most dogs. Kids should be supervised with any animal that has the ability to hurt them and that appears to be the case here.

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13
Masquara 9:43 am
11 Jan 14
#

It’s a fantastic idea to bring kids up appreciating wildlife – we kill snakes far too readily out of fear (possibly even influenced by unconscious, remnant religious tropes). Absolutely in favour of wrapping a harmless snake around a kid’s head under supervision. And around all the neighbourhood kids’ heads too, so they grow up respecting our native animals.

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14
Woody Mann-Caruso 9:56 am
11 Jan 14
#

/hand up

Where’s your hand, IP? I can’t tell if your post is a deserved comment on the irrational hysteria in the Facebook comments shown in the CT article (OMG HIDE INDOORS SNAKE COMING TO KILL US), or just you doing a bit of sensationalist editorialising while leaving yourself the coward’s exit of ‘I just asked a question’.

If you think the snake’s owners are bad parents, grow a pair and say so. If you think this is unsafe, evidence or GTFO.

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15
IrishPete 12:03 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

/hand up

Where’s your hand, IP? I can’t tell if your post is a deserved comment on the irrational hysteria in the Facebook comments shown in the CT article (OMG HIDE INDOORS SNAKE COMING TO KILL US), or just you doing a bit of sensationalist editorialising while leaving yourself the coward’s exit of ‘I just asked a question’.

If you think the snake’s owners are bad parents, grow a pair and say so. If you think this is unsafe, evidence or GTFO.

Well, I don’t know much about constrictors, so there was an element of fence-sitting, consulting the old “hive brain”. Call that cowardly if you want, but opinion in the absence of knowledge is pretty dumb. (What am I saying? On the RiotACT??? Wash your mouth out Peter.)

There have been incidents overseas of constrictors of this size or smaller harming children, but not this species (which obviously doesn’t exist overseas.) When I Googled, I found the warnings about Diamond Pythons were mainly about painful bites, and sometimes leaving a tooth behind in the bite – that was unexpected. A man in Bali was killed a few weeks back by a very large constrictor, but relative to the size of that snake this small child is probably about the same.

It’s not as if parents always do the right thing by their children, so I wasn’t prepared to accept the owner/father’s defensive assurances. So far the opinion of experts (or at least those who claim experience with snakes) seems to be “it’s safe under supervision”. So next question, if a constrictor was to tighten its grip, how easy is it to remove it quickly?

Despite growing up in a snake free country (thanks St Paddy) they don’t bother me too much now, and that’s the poisonous ones even. Mind you, I taunt European Wasps, so maybe I have a death wish.

IP

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