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Snake tips

author: lena scriver | contributor

Credit: Creative Commons

And you know what? Those people who won’t come over to my house are weak.

I have people in my life who refuse to come to my house for two reasons: Mako and Griffin. They are my pet snakes.

And you know what? Those people who won’t come over to my house are weak.

Mako is a big, fat king snake. He is always excited to be fed, and when he isn’t eating, he flattens his body against the bottom of his terrarium and snoozes. Griffin is a corn snake. She’s beautiful, and she is often found digging tunnels and having little baths in her enclosure. Both Mako and Griffin are comfortable being handled outside of their homes and like to settle into the pockets or hood of a sweater. I have been bitten by one of my snakes only once, and that is because I misread some snake behavior, similar to how you need to regard a cat’s body language before you try to pet them.

This is why I admit that I do not personally understand snake-phobia, when said phobia extends to all snakes of all sizes, venomous or not. Like, obviously, being afraid of a king cobra, an anaconda, or a black mamba makes sense. I definitely would not be in the room with one of those guys out and about. But being so afraid of a pet snake that you won’t enter a room with one inside is pretty ridiculous, especially if that pet snake is hanging out in its enclosure. What’s the worst that could happen – it looks at you? And no, the Chamber of Secrets is not open!

Some people are afraid of being bitten by a snake, and that’s understandable. But any pet with a jaw can bite you, so I’m not sure why a snake’s bite is so terrifying. Heck, cats use their claws alongside their teeth, but we still have cat cafes. Other people are afraid of the sliminess of a snake, and I’m happy to break it to these people that they’re mistaking snakes with frogs. Snakes are not slimy or wet! Finally, some people are afraid of the way snakes to move. I cannot even comment on this. Do these people also have to cover their eyes when they cook spaghetti? Locomotion is just locomotion. These snake haters are the loco ones.

What grinds my gears about certain people with snake-phobias is when these people threaten violence against other people’s pets. For example, I’ve heard people say they would kill either of my snakes if they were out of their enclosure. That’s disgusting, equally as disgusting as threatening to kill or maim a kitten or a puppy. I do not understand why it is suddenly okay to speak of murdering a person’s beloved pet if said pet has scales instead of fur or feathers.

The best course of action for a person looking to rid themselves of a snake phobia is to learn about snakes. They should start with a simple Google search or pick up a book. Snakes, from a biological perspective, are pretty damn cool. They evolved such that they do not need their limbs, so they have other amazing features that allow snake species to survive all across the globe. Snake jaws are especially interesting, but I won’t spoil that for anyone reading this. Once the snake-phobic person has done a little reading about snakes, they should try to experience what is a snake is like firsthand. I recommend Regina’s own Prairie Aquatics and Exotics, located on Park Street. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help any earnest individual who walks in.

All anyone has to do to learn more about these wonderful reptiles, and potentially hold a snake themselves, is ask!

 

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