10 Poisonous Work of a Snake Catcher

Poisonous Work of a Snake Catcher

Posted on September 27, 2011 by team


There is no such university in the whole world that can teach you the profession of a snake catcher. People learn it themselves, adopting the experience of others and gaining their own in practice. A snake catcher must understand the psychology of snakes, know all their habits, natural features, habitats. Let’s have a walk with one of such professionals from southern Kazakhstan.

The southwestern side of Chardara reservoir is one of few places in Kazakhstan where live the specimen which a snake catcher is interested in.

Meet Alexander, a serpentologist and a snake catcher with 15-year experience. He’s interested in blunt-nosed vipers and Central Asian cobras. Officially, these two specimen of venomous snakes are not put into the register of the reptilian fauna of Kazakhstan. This list is no longer topical as it was created in the far 70s.

Blunt-nosed vipers live on mountain slopes covered with shrubs, in rocky gorges, river valleys and cliffs along the banks of canals.

Sometimes these snakes gather in groups. There were cases when 10 snakes at once were found under a small stone.

This is a blunt-nosed viper, the largest member of the viper family in Kazakhstan’s fauna. It can reach almost 2 m in length and weigh up to 3 kg. An adult individual feeds on small animals such as field mice and lizards.

Having found a snake, Alexander cautiously approaches it and slowly turns its head to the side.

Without making any sudden movements, he squeezes its head with a special tool (the so-called “hook”) and gently takes it into a hand.

Since this is one of the most dangerous snakes in Kazakhstan, Alexander has to be extremely careful. In case of emergency, these snakes throw themselves at the enemy.

Once the snake is safely locked in his hand, Alexander puts it into a simple linen bag.

It requires some skill and the sequence of actions. One hand holds the snake and the other opens the bag. When the head of the snake comes abreast the edge of the bag, the animal is quickly thrown to the bottom.

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10 Responses to “Poisonous Work of a Snake Catcher”

  1. Kent_Diego says:

    I am glad they do not have these in US. The poisonous snakes here are harmless. There are some Christian religions here that practice snake handling with local rattle snakes and copper heads. More people die from bee stings.

    • opticalsound says:

      Well, the Mojave Rattlesnake and Coral Snakes are pretty dangerous but yes, deaths are extremely rare. Interesting post. Good luck and thanks to good men like alexander.

  2. ak says:

    Very impressive

  3. SSSR says:

    Mr Putin has me on his mind through youtube….

  4. perristalsis says:

    Each year, approximately 8,000 venomous snakebites occur in the United States. Between 1960 and 1990, no more than 12 fatalities from snake venom poisoning were reported annually. Most snakebites occur between April and October, when outdoor activities are popular. In the United States, 99 percent of snakebites are caused by the Crotalidae (pitviper) family of snakes. The Crotalidae family includes the following snakes: rattlesnakes, genera Crotalus and Sistrurus; copperheads, Agkistrodon contortrix; and cottonmouths, or water moccasins, Agkistrodon piscivorous. They have an important job to do, so leave them alone, they like it that way.

  5. Van Dammage says:

    I dont care if a snake has a poisonous bite I’m gonna run away screaming like a little kid anyways

  6. Mook says:

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0401/p1367.html
    http://www.rexano.org/Documents/venomous_snakes_1367.pdf

    Google the first few words and you’ll find one of the many sites from which he copy and pasted his post. He’s an amazing scholar indeed.

  7. George says:

    Say, I live and work in Kazakhstan. I came across a very impressive snake out west 200 km east of Kulsary (steppe). The snake was about 1 meter in length, blunt nose, slender uniform body with sharpe tail. Color was bright yellow with dark brown small square marks. Puffed up and hissed loudly. I have not been able to identify (not a steppe boa) it, but our local guide said they were very good to eat. That the Chinese love them. Any ideas?

  8. robin yates says:

    very interesting post. Snakes are fascinating in everyway, treat with respect and they will do away, disrespect them at your peril

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