In 2016, Josh Ruffell returned to the movie and television industry as a freelance animal trainer with companies including Jules Sylvesters Reptile Rentals, Inc., a leading provider of animal talent for television and film productions. A seasoned professional, Josh Ruffell is a reptile expert and has extensive experience handling a multitude of venomous and non-venomous snakes.
Although reptile handlers at the zoo pick up snakes with ease, it can be a daunting task for those who have never handled a snake before. Here are three tips to consider when handling a pet snake.
1. Wash your hands. Good hygiene is extremely important when handling any pet, and snakes are no different. Snakes are known to have acute sensory organs. In addition to eliminating prey scents from your hands, cleaning your hands decreases the likelihood of introducing germs, bacteria, or parasites to the snake.
2. Provide broad support. When picking up a snake, it is important to support as much of its body as possible, concentrating primarily on the middle of the body. Avoid touching or restraining the movement of its head, which may signal that you are a predator. Similarly, avoid picking it up by the tail, which may cause it to thrash around and injure itself.
3. Act with confidence. Even if you are uncomfortable, you should handle your snake with smooth, decisive movements. Jerky or hesitant motions can cause the snake to become restless.