Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 24th, 2012, 7:47 am

I was wondering what the overall opinion was, from people on the subject of handling Helodermatidae, the beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) and Gila monster ( Heloderma suspectum). My opinion is pretty lax, I have seen this a lot over the years, even in a public display..... I.E.....reptile shows...... I have experienced a lot of mixed emotions on this subject, but it is one that seams to be over looked, even tolerated by those who disagree or feel it is unprofessional.. I'm just looking for people's thoughts, please participate, however I don't want this to turn into a pissing match!!! Thanks gang!

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Heloderma bite
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(NONE OF THEAS IMAGES ARE MINE)

~Mel~

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reptilist
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by reptilist » January 24th, 2012, 8:03 am

I think a lot of folks underestimate them; people are easily lulled into a sense of complacency.
That being said, I would feel comfortable handling my education specimen during a presentation, but the AZGF officer who authorized my permit made it clear that it is not allowed. All venomous reptiles on display must be under lock and key.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by monklet » January 24th, 2012, 8:21 am

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This woman is behaving irresponsibly ...I'd be running for the hills!

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Gyri
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Gyri » January 24th, 2012, 8:23 am

I feel comfortable handling them but not the way they are being handled in most of the above photos. People vastly underestimate how fast they can whip their heads around and snap their jaws shut. I guess for animals that have been captive for a long time it's a little different but I don't think giving them that sort of trust is acceptable. They need to be grasped firmly by the back of the head and you need to use a specially-designed device to restrain the head when you first grab them (gently of course). Handling them any other way can result in unfortunate consequences, if not for the handler with a docile captive animal but for the uninformed viewers who see you do it and think you can hold any Gila unrestrained like that.

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Gyri
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Gyri » January 24th, 2012, 8:24 am

Also, that woman clearly has not watched this movie...


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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by BillMcGighan » January 24th, 2012, 1:18 pm

That is too funny.....
I saw it in the theater when I was 11 years old. (1959)


This and other 50s movies, centered around the effects of radiation in the dawning of the atomic age, were the cheesy horror films, targeted to teens, of that decade.
They would be analogous to, and rival the stupidity of, the blood and guts horror films of the 80s and 90s, the current vampire films, reaching a crescendo today with political debates! :roll:

However, to a kid where the natural world was just opening its doors in the 50s, I learned all I needed to know on zoological topics from movies like:


Insects

Them! - Giant ants (1954)
Beginning of the End - Giant Grass Hoppers (1957)
The Deadly Mantis - Giant Praying Mantis (1957)
Mothra – Giant Moth (1961)


Misc. other inverts

It Came from Beneath the Sea – Giant Octopus (1955)
The Black Scorpion - Giant Scorpion, of course (1957)
Tarantula – (1955)
Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)


Vertebrates were represented too with reptiles:
My very first movie of this genre (5 years old) -

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms - dinosaur (1953)
Godzilla – T-Rex (1954)
Rodan – a giant, flying, dinosaur-type monster (1956)
The Giant Behemoth - Paeleosaurus (1959)
The Giant Gila Monster – which funny enough had the incident occurring in Texas!!! (1959)


Even birds and mammal got some screen time with:

The Giant Claw – a goofy looking giant bird(1957)
The Killer Shrews - (1959)

The ‘60s Reptile TV became more documentary-ish, thank goodness.

There was even an “NBC Children’s Theater” TV special in 1968ish with Karl Kauffeld in it as a paleontologist. I think it was called “The Enormous Egg”.

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noah k.
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by noah k. » January 24th, 2012, 1:33 pm

Id think they would be just like any captive lizard except if you get bit you would suffer venom effects. Do they tame in captivity?

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by btskanks » January 24th, 2012, 1:51 pm

Hi: I heard if u have a "dogtame" one and go in the sun with it after a while it becomes agitated, also heard this about monitors but i quite often walk my 5' water on a leash outside and with my bulldogs w/o problem. A while back someone in a post said a woman ? in europe found a super quick way to get helo's to release w/o harming them, i would love to know/Ron

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Don » January 24th, 2012, 2:55 pm

I recall Mike Williamson recounting his gila bite to me. I believe he wrote about it in his book "Trail of the Snake." It made a believer out of me!

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by krz » January 24th, 2012, 3:50 pm

Having seen a few bites by both and extracting venom from them. I agree that people do not give them the respect that they should get. Venom does not belong in the human body no matter how toxic it may or may not be.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Joseph S. » January 24th, 2012, 4:15 pm

My understanding is that with the venom delivery apparatus of these guys heavy gloves(ones that go up the forearms would be best) are adequate protection since the fabric would soak up the venom. None of them are wearing gloves in those photos of course...

Gilas and Beadeds do "tame down"(I think "get harder to scare" would be a better way to define it) in captivity, but the consequences of a bite are too big to risk...

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by azatrox » January 24th, 2012, 7:53 pm

My official opinion on this subject is "meh." Have I ever handled one? Yes. (Don't git yer panties in a bunch people...I was legal). I will admit that they feel unique....But otherwise they feel not unlike handling a good sized Savannah monitor.

Re: temperment, yes there is a HUGE difference between a wild Heloderm and a captive one. Wild animals can be quite pugnacious when threatened or cornered, gaping, hissing and moving backwards away from the threat. I know people whose captive Helos are "puppy dog tame". One probably would never think of handling a wild Helo in the manner depicted in some of these pics...

All that said, I'm still trying to figure out why handling is necessary at all. One thing that often gets overlooked is the tremendous strength these animals possess. They are STRONG! Couple this with the fact that a pissed off Helo has a tendency to "roll" and thrash while in hand and I'm just not sure the juice is worth the squeeze on this whole idea....

While a bite won't kill, it sure as hell will make the bitten wish they were dead....(which interestingly enough could be the opening to a new genre of B rated zombie flicks...a radioactive gila bites an idiot herper, thereby exposing him to dangerous levels of radiation, killing him and turning him into a zombie...and then the new apocalypse begins! What fun!)

Image

-Kris

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Kevin McRae
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kevin McRae » January 24th, 2012, 8:15 pm

Many captive lizard species are very calm and easy to handle in captivity while their wild counterparts are flighty and will bite/defecate when handled. I've had several pet herps that seemed "dog tame" such as a B. c. imperator that never showed any aggression for years till one day out of the blue bit me. The difference between a boa and a venomous species bite such as a Heloderm is quite obvious. You may never get bit but is it worth the risk? In my opinion, no.

Same goes for in the field. For example; you can handle several dozen rattlesnakes without getting bit but it only takes one bite and you've made a terrible mistake you could have easily avoided. It's simply not worth the risk.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by withalligators » January 24th, 2012, 8:58 pm

Speaking of that old Attack of the Giant Gila Monster movie. I saw it a few years back, and i remember really thinking that they blew an alive one up at the end. Anyone know if this is true?
Cheers,
Alex

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by ADCIII » January 24th, 2012, 9:49 pm

In the fall of 1961 I was in charge of (it was just really my paying, part time job) feeding and cleaning the Heloderma collection at an Arizona institution. They ranged in size from juveniles to large adults around two feet. You would get to know them as individuals and yes, in general, the longer captive ones appeared easier to handle. One would usually hold down the head with something, I believe I often used the eraser end of a pencil, and then gently reached in and grasp it behind the head and removed it from the cage. It was then placed in a sink while the cage and bowl cleaning took place. As they were transfered to the sink, different holdings were used for different individuals. Newer captives were held with two hands, one behind the head and the other at the base of the tail. The easy to handle ones were often supported under the chest with the body supported back on my forearm. I remember one "easy to hold' individual about 20" long that after I had it out of the cage and resting on my arm, the cage began to fall and as I reached to catch the cage, I brought him too close to my chest. Sure enough, he latched on. I never have thought so fast in my life. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my Zippo lighter and in two seconds, he was off. He suffered no visible affects and I only had small swelling and pain for about 8 hours. If notfor that Zippo, I would have scars on my chest.
Helodermids are just like Crotalids...hold enough of them..... And yes, in this instance, undo stress was placed on this individual and it acted accordingly. Art

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 24th, 2012, 9:52 pm

There is a lot of good views here! Thanks crew!! I'm a little embarrassed to say I have not seen any of the films listed in this thread :roll: Well I know what my weekend entails :thumb: :lol:

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 24th, 2012, 10:10 pm

azatrox wrote:My official opinion on this subject is "meh." Have I ever handled one? Yes. (Don't git yer panties in a bunch people...I was legal)-Kris
No worries here Bro, I have handled my fair share with minimal restraint.... That's why I'm so curious...of others opinion! Just this last year I was at the Anaheim reptile show (NARBC) in SoCal...... While looking at some Beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) and pondering the thought of getting one.... The owner of the table placed his large breeder male in my hands!! It was the calmest creature I had ever experienced! Kind like a old lazy lap-dog!!

On the other side, yes they are venomous! And that thought never left my mind!. That why I wanted to know what others thought.

Mel

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 24th, 2012, 10:20 pm

ADCIII wrote:In the fall of 1961 I was in charge of (it was just really my paying, part time job) feeding and cleaning the Heloderma collection at an Arizona institution. They ranged in size from juveniles to large adults around two feet. You would get to know them as individuals and yes, in general, the longer captive ones appeared easier to handle. One would usually hold down the head with something, I believe I often used the eraser end of a pencil, and then gently reached in and grasp it behind the head and removed it from the cage. It was then placed in a sink while the cage and bowl cleaning took place. As they were transfered to the sink, different holdings were used for different individuals. Newer captives were held with two hands, one behind the head and the other at the base of the tail. The easy to handle ones were often supported under the chest with the body supported back on my forearm. I remember one "easy to hold' individual about 20" long that after I had it out of the cage and resting on my arm, the cage began to fall and as I reached to catch the cage, I brought him too close to my chest. Sure enough, he latched on. I never have thought so fast in my life. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my Zippo lighter and in two seconds, he was off. He suffered no visible affects and I only had small swelling and pain for about 8 hours. If notfor that Zippo, I would have scars on my chest.
Helodermids are just like Crotalids...hold enough of them..... And yes, in this instance, undo stress was placed on this individual and it acted accordingly. Art


Thanks Art, that was a interesting story!! What was the pain like? Did the wound bleed long?

Mel

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by ADCIII » January 25th, 2012, 9:48 am

Mel, Pain was moderate at the sight and since it or the swelling did not increase after the first 30 minutes, I did not seek help. I also had some lung pain, but since I had experienced this with a juvi C. atrox stab type bite two years earlier, I just waited it out. Cheers, Art

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kelly Mc » January 25th, 2012, 10:45 am

A small spray bottle of alcohol. Its also good to have in a large boid room. No damage from pens no overhead coiling . Quick and low impact.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by umop apisdn » January 25th, 2012, 8:25 pm

I know someone who has had one for some time in captivity, and the thing is a friggin teddy bear. Doesn't mean I'd handle it, though...

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by joeysgreen » January 25th, 2012, 9:26 pm

My only experience with them was a few weekends while mentoring at a reptile zoo. They use freehandling as part of SOP, but only to move from cage to garbage can while maintaining the enclosure. Now while I say freehandling, I mean specifically a head/shoulder pin-grab. Gentle, but controlling without risk of bite. Second hand holds the pelvis/tail. I should mention these were gila's; not sure if it would work this way with the larger beaded lizards.

Ian

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by FunkyRes » January 26th, 2012, 7:08 am

Kelly Mc wrote:A small spray bottle of alcohol. Its also good to have in a large boid room. No damage from pens no overhead coiling . Quick and low impact.
I understand the importance of having the alcohol, but what do you use to get the snake off?

:twisted:

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 26th, 2012, 7:48 am

Kelly Mc wrote:A small spray bottle of alcohol. Its also good to have in a large boid room. No damage from pens no overhead coiling . Quick and low impact.

Yes I'm curious about this statement as well, could you please elaborate a little more?

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kelly Mc » January 26th, 2012, 8:12 am

If you get grabbed and you drip or squirt a small amount on any area of the mouth the snake/lizard Detaches Instantly

Its harmless to the reptile slightly caustic maybe but quickly and unevenfully recoverable . They will go and take a drink of water , adjust their mouth a little bit and everything is back to normal for everybody

its only for emergencies - and those times when a really big reptile wont let go like when a python has your hand and has covered his head with a coil and its a wrenching messy ordeal. It can take the tiniest amount and the snake quickly , nimbly releases . Grain alcohol or isopropyl whatever you prefer . Hydrogen peroxide instead I have used but it doesnt work nearly as neatly and fast

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Will Wells » January 26th, 2012, 8:25 am

I've been bit twice by gila monsters. Once while grabbing a baby by the tail on a road as a car was coming. It swung around and sliced my index finger. I flung it off immediately and was not envenomated. The monster flew about 10 feet off to the side of the road. My finger bleed more than usual for that size cut but no sever pain. I don't ususally handle herps like that but couldn't watch it get ran over.

Last season I was turning an adult around to face my camera with a hat. Out of no where it latched on to my thumb. I again flung my hand and the monster let go and flew a few feet. There was alot of bleeding and I had several punture wounds an a broken finger nail. My thumb swelled and throbbed as if I shut it in a car door. Luckily I had some pain medication on hand so I continued to herp. After about 90 minutes the throbbing calmed down.
Since it was flung off my thumb right away, I probably didn't get much if any venom.

Lesson learned, they are alot quicker than they look!

In the picture above of Brady Barr holding the Gila Monster, I've wondered if he had permission to hold that monster. This was very near my house and I was there the day they were filming that episode. I have pics of that monster over the past 3 years. Glad that this holding hasn't spooked it from hanging out in that part of it's territory.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 26th, 2012, 9:44 am

Thank you what a great tip :thumb: I have never herd of this! I'll have to try it if ever in a predicament.

Anyone else care to comment on this matter?

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by gbin » January 26th, 2012, 9:52 am

Will Wells wrote:... Luckily I had some pain medication on hand so I continued to herp...
Typical herper! :lol:

In dealing with whatever kind of animal, I try to keep in mind the potential rather than just the probability of danger. The greater the potential risk, the greater the need for care in handling (and for justification for handling at all), regardless of the animal's customary behavior. Even more so when the way I handle an animal may impact the safety of others than myself.

Heck, lots of people have gotten a nasty surprise when their own dog, which they've known for years, suddenly and unexpectedly lashed out at a package delivery person, drive-thru window clerk, neighborhood child... Such things happen. And unlike a gila, those dogs are the product of a long process of domestication and have a reasonable amount of brain power behind their behavior.

Gerry

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Sam Bacchini » January 26th, 2012, 10:14 am

Kelly Mc wrote:If you get grabbed and you drip or squirt a small amount on any area of the mouth the snake/lizard Detaches Instantly

Its harmless to the reptile slightly caustic maybe but quickly and unevenfully recoverable . They will go and take a drink of water , adjust their mouth a little bit and everything is back to normal for everybody

its only for emergencies - and those times when a really big reptile wont let go like when a python has your hand and has covered his head with a coil and its a wrenching messy ordeal. It can take the tiniest amount and the snake quickly , nimbly releases . Grain alcohol or isopropyl whatever you prefer . Hydrogen peroxide instead I have used but it doesnt work nearly as neatly and fast
Sounds like a great idea I will have to try. Really could have used that a few years ago when a baby blood python I was showing off decided to latch on to the skin between my fingers and would NOT let go... ;)

Regarding the Heloderma handling, I've done it many many times with both species over the years, but all have been captive animals. Unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to see one in the wild. As others have said they are faster and stronger than you might think, but they are not very flexible and are fairly easy to control if you are experienced with handling them and are paying attention to what you are doing. Definitely not something to approach casually. I currently have a group of H. horridum that I regularly interact with for feeding, cage cleaning, etc.

My one comment about the pictures is that while the handling going on there may seem very casual, they are somewhat out of context and may not necessarily depict the degree of caution the handlers are taking.

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by BillMcGighan » January 26th, 2012, 1:58 pm

Just for a bit of nostalgia….
.
Some excerpts from Ditmars’ 1936 Reptiles of North America:


Speaking of Heloderma

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And then more specifically on the Gila

Image
Image

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-EJ
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by -EJ » January 26th, 2012, 3:05 pm

Very carefully...
Image

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kent VanSooy » January 26th, 2012, 4:50 pm

Hey, that's my beaded lizard!

Image

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by -EJ » January 26th, 2012, 4:54 pm

It is not... regardless... my picture carries a higher 'cute' factor.
Kent VanSooy wrote:Hey, that's my beaded lizard!

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by hellihooks » January 26th, 2012, 5:11 pm

Back in the mid 70's, I was at a rather prominent Palm Springs Resident's house, who related his experience with Gila bite. Bitten in the chest, took quite a while to get off, and resulted in very serious consequences... guy said he nearly died, and was hospitalized for some time. Compared it in severity to his Helleri bite. Being the son of some rather famous and very well-to-do people, he had access to the best care available...(Dr. Findley Russell)
I believe he attributed the severity of the bite to getting bitten right by his heart. Moral is: Never hug your Gila... :crazyeyes: :D jim

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by -EJ » January 26th, 2012, 5:18 pm

No problem here... (that's a beaded lizard)
hellihooks wrote:Back in the mid 70's, I was at a rather prominent Palm Springs Resident's house, who related his experience with Gila bite. Bitten in the chest, took quite a while to get off, and resulted in very serious consequences... guy said he nearly died, and was hospitalized for some time. Compared it in severity to his Helleri bite. Being the son of some rather famous and very well-to-do people, he had access to the best care available...(Dr. Findley Russell)
I believe he attributed the severity of the bite to getting bitten right by his heart. Moral is: Never hug your Gila... :crazyeyes: :D jim

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by hellihooks » January 27th, 2012, 5:37 am

My reply was not aimed at anyone... just relating a story I heard, firsthand, of a serious gila bite. Beaded's and Gila's are awesome creatures... I hope to see a wild one, someday. :roll: :D jim

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kent VanSooy » January 27th, 2012, 8:02 am

my picture carries a higher 'cute' factor.
Darn, I lose to that one every time!

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Sam Bacchini » January 27th, 2012, 9:34 am

-EJ wrote:Very carefully...
Image
The cages in the background look familiar, was that taken at Applegate's place?

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Kent VanSooy » January 27th, 2012, 11:18 am

maybe....

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Sam Bacchini » January 27th, 2012, 11:50 am

Here's a couple I hatched out last year. More eggs cooking as we speak.

Image

It never ceases to amaze me how they fit in those eggs...

Image

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 27th, 2012, 12:18 pm

Will Wells wrote:I've been bit twice by gila monsters. Once while grabbing a baby by the tail on a road as a car was coming. It swung around and sliced my index finger. I flung it off immediately and was not envenomated. The monster flew about 10 feet off to the side of the road. My finger bleed more than usual for that size cut but no sever pain. I don't ususally handle herps like that but couldn't watch it get ran over.

Last season I was turning an adult around to face my camera with a hat. Out of no where it latched on to my thumb. I again flung my hand and the monster let go and flew a few feet. There was alot of bleeding and I had several punture wounds an a broken finger nail. My thumb swelled and throbbed as if I shut it in a car door. Luckily I had some pain medication on hand so I continued to herp. After about 90 minutes the throbbing calmed down.
Since it was flung off my thumb right away, I probably didn't get much if any venom.

Lesson learned, they are alot quicker than they look!

In the picture above of Brady Barr holding the Gila Monster, I've wondered if he had permission to hold that monster. This was very near my house and I was there the day they were filming that episode. I have pics of that monster over the past 3 years. Glad that this holding hasn't spooked it from hanging out in that part of it's territory.

Great story's Will, I just saw this! Don't know how I missed it before :?: ya I was kinda wondering the same thing about Brady :!: I think I saw that episode on AP! Kinda funny you had pain meds on hand I carry a first aid kit with a few left over pain pills that I did not use, never know when that stuff will come in handy :)

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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 27th, 2012, 2:01 pm

gila-91 wrote:Here's a couple I hatched out last year. More eggs cooking as we speak.

Image

It never ceases to amaze me how they fit in those eggs...

Image

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics

'Crappy'!!! Are you kidding me? Those little guys are awesome!!
I have been looking in to getting a pair of beaded lizards!! I don't house much any more and thought they would be a pleasant treat!! :thumb:

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Location: Deadhorse/California

Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm

Gheeeesh!!!! Guys!! I have been to Bobs several times he has never let me hold his big male? :roll: :crazyeyes: :lol:

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Sam Bacchini
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Location: NorCal

Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Sam Bacchini » January 27th, 2012, 2:31 pm

M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:
gila-91 wrote:'Crappy'!!! Are you kidding me? Those little guys are awesome!!
I have been looking in to getting a pair of beaded lizards!! I don't house much any more and thought they would be a pleasant treat!! :thumb:
Thanks. My old camera isn't working well anymore so my iPhone has been my go to camera. I just look at all the great photos people post here and they blow away anything I can come up with right now... ;)

If you are serious shoot me a PM and we can talk.

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-EJ
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by -EJ » January 27th, 2012, 4:08 pm

I really can't say... wink, wink, nudge, nudge... know what I mean?
gila-91 wrote:
The cages in the background look familiar, was that taken at Applegate's place?

NorCalAl
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by NorCalAl » September 6th, 2012, 9:11 pm

I visited a local breeder recently and he handed me a half dozen different individuals, both beaded and gilas. The beadeds, with one exception, were just calm as could be and while I could feel the muscles when they moved, they didn't seem too interested in either me or getting away. I was able to hold them resting on my arm primarily though I did hold one by the tail.

In case you're interested as to why, I was looking into purchasing a pair. My mate accompanied me, which turned out to be a bad idea. She was not too interested till she saw all the hots at the house. That's when she started the questioning. Stupid me. :-/

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Scott Waters
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by Scott Waters » September 6th, 2012, 10:50 pm

You guys would enjoy an interview in this show with "Mr. Lobo", an awesome b-movie host and all around expert on these types of old movies.....
http://www.herpnation.com/audio/the-dan ... gory=audio

BillMcGighan wrote:That is too funny.....
I saw it in the theater when I was 11 years old. (1959)


This and other 50s movies, centered around the effects of radiation in the dawning of the atomic age, were the cheesy horror films, targeted to teens, of that decade.
They would be analogous to, and rival the stupidity of, the blood and guts horror films of the 80s and 90s, the current vampire films, reaching a crescendo today with political debates! :roll:

However, to a kid where the natural world was just opening its doors in the 50s, I learned all I needed to know on zoological topics from movies like:


Insects

Them! - Giant ants (1954)
Beginning of the End - Giant Grass Hoppers (1957)
The Deadly Mantis - Giant Praying Mantis (1957)
Mothra – Giant Moth (1961)


Misc. other inverts

It Came from Beneath the Sea – Giant Octopus (1955)
The Black Scorpion - Giant Scorpion, of course (1957)
Tarantula – (1955)
Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)


Vertebrates were represented too with reptiles:
My very first movie of this genre (5 years old) -

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms - dinosaur (1953)
Godzilla – T-Rex (1954)
Rodan – a giant, flying, dinosaur-type monster (1956)
The Giant Behemoth - Paeleosaurus (1959)
The Giant Gila Monster – which funny enough had the incident occurring in Texas!!! (1959)


Even birds and mammal got some screen time with:

The Giant Claw – a goofy looking giant bird(1957)
The Killer Shrews - (1959)

The ‘60s Reptile TV became more documentary-ish, thank goodness.

There was even an “NBC Children’s Theater” TV special in 1968ish with Karl Kauffeld in it as a paleontologist. I think it was called “The Enormous Egg”.

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regalringneck
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by regalringneck » September 7th, 2012, 2:18 pm

...uuughh, hate to be mostly negative, i find alot of these shots way worse for herps & herp keepers than say a good old fashioned rattlesnake bash in okla-exas ... that seems to always bring out the torches & pitchforks around here. That little girl shot w/ the big boar should be removed and never repeated.
I've taken very tame gilas outside into fresh air for a talk or walk; they will normally revert to side snapping, beadeds im not sure but expect they would too.
The other big health issue w/ these dinosaurs and other large captive saurians are their freekn nails, 1st plowing thru their excrement & then tearing nice long innoculation grooves in our forearms .... ick
Letting go of a friendly or frightened helo is whole nudda issue ... but thats for another day : }

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-EJ
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by -EJ » September 7th, 2012, 4:48 pm

That's my photo and I see nothing wrong with it when placed in context. Some of us just enjoy herps in general. Not just herps in the wild but herps in captivity. Many of these photos are generated by herp enthusiasts that span generations.

I'm sorry but I will always believe that there is no better rush than the hands on approach... and I'm not only talking hots...

Image
regalringneck wrote:...uuughh, hate to be mostly negative, i find alot of these shots way worse for herps & herp keepers than say a good old fashioned rattlesnake bash in okla-exas ... that seems to always bring out the torches & pitchforks around here. That little girl shot w/ the big boar should be removed and never repeated.
I've taken very tame gilas outside into fresh air for a talk or walk; they will normally revert to side snapping, beadeds im not sure but expect they would too.
The other big health issue w/ these dinosaurs and other large captive saurians are their freekn nails, 1st plowing thru their excrement & then tearing nice long innoculation grooves in our forearms .... ick
Letting go of a friendly or frightened helo is whole nudda issue ... but thats for another day : }

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mywan
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Re: Opinion on handling Helodermatidae

Post by mywan » September 7th, 2012, 8:10 pm

-EJ wrote:That's my photo and I see nothing wrong with it when placed in context. Some of us just enjoy herps in general. Not just herps in the wild but herps in captivity. Many of these photos are generated by herp enthusiasts that span generations.

I'm sorry but I will always believe that there is no better rush than the hands on approach... and I'm not only talking hots...
Jeez that's a huge snapper, thought I had seen a big one when I was young, but that has it beat :shock:

I don't normally keep herps as pets, at least not for many years now. But the hobbyist catching and keeping them is certainly not the biggest issue for conservation. Don't have any problem with people keeping hots, and such, either. But I'm not going to encourage it, or fail to encourage caution when asked, either.

Take good care of big daddy there :P

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