How to Hold a Snake




Introduction: How to Hold a Snake

hi. this is my first instructable, and I'd like to show you how to properly hold a snake. The same basic principles go for all snakes but i advise only to hold captive, docile animals for both participants safety! Also this technique aplies mostly to small to medium sized snakes.

before I begin there's something else I need to say:

many people own and love their snakes, but too many end up released or dumped off at shelters when owners have lost interest or can no longer care for their snakes. If you are considering ownership of a snake or any other animal PLEASE remember that they have feelings, needs and higher intelligence than most people give them credit for. Further more do not obtain a pet unless you can ensure that you will be able to provide a full and healthy life with: proper space, enrichment, diet , lighting, temperature and, if needed companion ship. I would also advise that careful research be done before obtaining the animal.

that being said, lets begin!

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Step 1: Picking Up a Snake

lets list some common mistakes which can often harm the snake;

- Don't hold/ pick up a snake up by it tail

- Don't hold/ pick up a snake by its head

(this goes for wild snakes too!)

pick up a snake by the middle slowly so that you don't scare them. Many snakes are ambush predators so it would be inadvisable to put your hand in front of the snakes head. You need to support about every third of the snakes body, using both hands. There Is no need to squeeze or hold on tight, but allow the snake to rest on your arms or wrist.

picking a snake up by its tail can dislocate vertebra of the snake or lead to the snake panicking, increasing the risk of both of you getting hurt.

Not only does picking up a snake by the head put you in danger of being bitten, but there is also the possibility that you could break its delicate jaw or skull, which would lead to death.

Step 2: Holding the Snake

some snakes will move around while others will sit calmly, all you need to do is make sure the snake is supported. It is important for you to remain calm while holding the snake even if you are uncomfortable. Quick movements or loud noises will scare the snake and make negatively reinforce being held, so that the snake is afraid to be handled.

Remember: snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them.

keep re-positioning a lively snake to keep it well supported and away from your neck. if snakes cling to you, just let them wrap around your hand or arm, and they will do all the work.

it should be noted that some snakes don't like to have their heads or tails touched.

Step 3:

I hope you learned from this instructable , and I'm open to suggestions on how to make a better one in the future. It Is my belief that through education and hands-on experiences, with animals people will grow to have a greater appreciation for our world; and will hopefully work to make it a better place for everyone.

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    9 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for making an Instructable for our reptile friends! Children especially should learn how to handle animals with care. I cringe when I see kids just grabbing at their pets without consideration for safety and comfort!


    5 years ago

    if you walk up from behind and quickly grab behind the head, but not on the head, it becomes impossible to be bitten


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I acknowledge that is true, but i didn't include it because it still runs the risk of hurting the snake, altogether scaring it , and can easily go wrong if you are inexperienced. However in some situations grabbing it behind the head is good for catching a snake but not for holding it for any long period of time.


    Reply 5 years ago

    I just meant it for wild snakes that would be more apt to bite


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I love snakes but haven't had a chance to hold them yet. Nevertheless these tips are very useful.. thanks for sharing.