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 Post subject: Russell's Viper (warning, crappy pix!)
PostPosted: July 26th, 2010, 3:58 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3179
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
We received a call from our friends at the Taipei Zoo Rescue Center last week to drive over and check out their new arrival, an adult Russell's Viper (Daboia russelli siamensis), that the police removed from someone's basement and delivered to the zoo.

The staff was gracious enough to take the snake out of its tank so I could photograph it. Although I had heard stories about this species' aggressiveness and restlessness, I wasn't prepared for the reality. It just wouldn't sit still. Like, EVAHR. The staff at the center - guys and gals alike - routinely free-handle all their venomous snakes, but make an exception for this one. At just under three feet, the beast is just too short to tail, has very fast reactions, and attacks readily, so touching it anywhere with anything but hook or tongs is not advisable. Once on the ground, the snake was constantly moving, seemingly into three directions at the same time, and at great speed. Hissing and snapping at the hook, it tried to slither under the cage racks, and throwing a hat on it to calm it down failed miserably. After a short while, the keeper deemed it too dangerous to keep it outside any longer, because the odds of it eventually disappearing into some crack were stacking up. That event would not only have thrown a severe wrench into the everyday workings of the Center, but there was also a visiting high school class in the next room, fixing to come into ours.

For safety reasons, I had told our flip-flop-wearing boys to stay outside the room and watch the action through the glass door, but even without them clambering all over the place, it was really difficult to get a clear shot at the never-resting animal. And of course, I hadn't brought my external flash, so the pix have no more than documentary value. But maybe someone will enjoy them anyway - I sure got a kick out of taking them :-)

PS: I'd be glad for any pointers about how to remove the glare from the snake's eye without blackening it completely, i.e., leaving a little "life light" in there....

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 Post subject: Re: Russell's Viper (warning, crappy pix!)
PostPosted: July 26th, 2010, 10:35 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Posts: 2648
Location: Ventura, CA
Hard to imagine that such an innocuous looking little snake could cause so much grief. Looks like a fun place to visit.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell's Viper (warning, crappy pix!)
PostPosted: July 26th, 2010, 12:00 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:43 am
Posts: 317
Location: East of san diego
neet little snake


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