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Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by Reptilius, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    I have the priviledge of working on an Echo Estate and part of my job is to catch/rescue and relocate the reptiles found here.

    I got called one day to relocate an African (Brown) House Snake which was eating the local bird life. I responded to the call and found the snake in a hedge trying to catch a bird. It did eventually catch one and the force of the attack caused it to fall out of the hedge. It did not release the bird, even when impacting the ground, and proceeded to eat its meal.

    Enjoy the pics.



    Attached Files:

  2. Jflores

    Jflores Elite Member

    Great Pic!!! thanks for sharing..
  3. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    It's funny how, in the wild, the snakes don't follow the rule of "no prey larger than one and half times it's body girth" ;)

    Great pics!
  4. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    That was one hungry snake.
  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Great photo! Must be a very interesting job
  6. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    cool! what was the fate of this snake?
  7. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    The best job I have ever had. This snake swallowed the bird, was caught by me, taken home and put into my collection because we just do not get them this size anymore, she is all of 90cm in length. Oh, and she never regurged the food item either. Took her all of 2 weeks to digest it. We often talk about prey item sizes and how long it should take to digest before harming the snake, nature however is in a league of its own when it comes to how things should be done.

    This snake has now produced babies for 2 seasons in a row totalling 31 babies released back into the wild.
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Usually this is very discouraged as you can decimate entire populations if introducing the wrong organisms back into nature with them.
    So please describe in a little more detail what's involved at your job that allows you to do this and that this should not be an endeavor that one does on their own.
  9. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    I am a Security Manager, but part of my Job entails catching snakes and relocating them to prevent them getting killed by the people who live on the Estate. I hear what you say about the introduction of organisms etc. , but here is the question - Kill or catch and release, what would you do. It is also general practice that to release within a couple of miles of initial capture is acceptable.
    I introduce babies back into the wild within normally a 10km radius of where the mother was caught.

    I hope I have answered your question appropriately.
  10. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I see, I misunderstood your position. I thought you were part of a wildlife organization.
    I'm glad to see you relocate the caught snakes. But introducing the babies back into the wild is a very dangerous thing for the native populations.
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The catch and release isn't the concern. It's the introduction of the babies you had that is the worry.
    In fact it is illegal in this country to return animals to the wild that have been in captivity, even natives because of concern that you may be introducing a foreign pathogen into the ecosystem.
  12. juddstrow

    juddstrow Member

    I dont know exactly where you are at, but I beleive that if it is a native species, it wouldnt be such a big deal. I would definetly check local laws to be sure. But as long as you arent bringing exotic species to the area i could see it being fine, especially if you had relocated the snake to begin with, it would have continued to breed anyhow.
    Just a thought, i was a biology major in college, but im not a biologist.
  13. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    that is so cool!
  14. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You're missing the point. It's exactly what you don't want to do with native species. Released captive bred breed with the native population and pass on diseases they took with them from being in captivity.
    If they were exotics then they wouldn't be coming in contact with others of their own species.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Exactly! Go to your history books and read what happened to indigeous peoples when the European settlers came to the new world.

    Small pox anyone?
  16. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    There are sections where the populations of certain species are almost non existent, even they are endemic to that area. It is in these areas that I release babies in attempts to repopulate teh specific area. I do research an area before releasing babies. It is not just a thumb suck practice.
  17. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    Those pictures are awesome!

    As for releasing the offspring back into the wild, as long as the snakes are feeding on prey that are captured/bred locally and proper handling/care techniques are followed (such as housing separately, washing hands before/after handling, and maintaining sanitary living conditions for herp/prey), the risk of foreign pathogens would be minimal. Right? If he is feeding prey items that are not local or have a long line of captive breeding where the blood lines are crossed with another breeder from another area is when the concern of foreign pathogens would really come into effect. At least, that is what I would think. Locally, it is illegal to release captive bred offspring, but that is due to the fact so many keepers feed non-local prey items that can carry a foreign pathogen to that area.
  18. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    I breed my own prey items in terms of Rodents, but frogs and geckos etc breed wild on my premises.
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But you also have non native species like the Texas rats you showed us.
    That is one source where a contamination could occur. Being from North America they could be a source of introduction of a parasite or disease pathogen that the local african animals would never have been exposed to and as such would have no inherant immunities to.
    Whether there are other members of a given species in the area is irrelevant. There will be animals in that area or traveling thru it that could be exposed and so transport the parasite or disease to others. Entire populations of animal as well as humans have been decimated in just this manner.
  20. Reptilius

    Reptilius Active Member

    You make a very valid point, however, the same Texas Rats have been in captivity for 6 years and were captive bred at that. Does the possibility still exist that they would carry a parasite which would be carried over to one of my indigenous snakes. All my snakes are also housed seperately in individual enclosures. This has actually developed into quite a nice informational topic. Thank You All.
    A few more viewpoints would also be appreciated though.

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