To think this was dangerous and shouldn't be done ?

(132 Posts)
lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-16 00:22:44

I've been chewing this over for hours and after the initial excitement was over and I've researched the species, I'm left with the feeling that this was an incredible risk with our safety that was taken today . In this era of health and safety in
Very surprised it "passed" and was rush assessed.
Basically I was at a small farm today - a kind of children's open farm where there are goats , lambs and chickens to let and feed - with my two children today .
Announcements are generally made over a megaphone of feedings or events and this one generated some excitement . There was a snake that they were exhibiting in the grass just by the car park that was very rarely allowed out of its enclosure but was allowed out today. The farm was quite quiet no more than about a dozen people I'd say . All of us crossed the car park where there was a small field . I can't remember what separates the car park from
The field - it was either nothing or it was a low bar - thigh height . In the field was a very large snake just gliding slowly around. There were two handlers with it - I say handlers but they were not specialists . At least one was a young slight girl who's been doing the rabbit feeds just before and the chicken feeds earlier . I think she was just s general farm employee.

The snake was 22 ft long - an African Rock Python . It glided around the field parallel to us for a while no more than a foot away . The handler Explained it was a dangerous and aggressive snake and would attach unprovoked even f not hungry . It was no more than a foot away from us with either no barrier st all between us or just a bar I can't remember . We were all quite spellbound and watched it until the handlers put it away.
It was only when I came home and googled to discover more about the snake that I clicked what a dangerous snake iny is . In a zoo where they are used to such species you woukdnh be invited so Close to one with no proper barrier I'm sure. Snakes are always in their vicariously for a reason. I'm upset and puzzled2 by this as I feel the farm put our safety at risk. If that snake chose to move quickly towards us bearingg in mind it weighed over 100kg and was 22 feet we would not have stood a chance .

AIBU to contact the farm and ask for their opinion on this?

Claraoswald36 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:25:17

Christ yanbu! I wonder what professional body you could contact for an opinion about this. I don't know myself but maybe someone else will.

fatmomma99 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:26:20

Are you dead?

If not, I suspect you and your family survived.

OliviaShoo Mon 06-Jun-16 00:29:41

Whilst I don't agree with the way the snake was 'showcased', this snake isn't venomous, and very rarely attacks people. I'm not a huge fan of snakes, but they have a bad rep, as they're not nice and fluffy!
You would have been in much much more danger standing 1-foot away from an unknown cow in a field.

lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-16 00:31:11

Yes we survived but that isn't the point is it ?
It's a lovely farm and I don't want to cause then any trouble but I just don't think having this type of snake ( apparently it's one of the most vicious and aggressive constrictors) a food away from people with no bar in between is wise ! Sorry about my spelling mistakes in op - this phone is dying on me ......

lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-16 00:34:51

Olivia it's known as one of the most vicious and aggressive constrictors . Apparently it lunges to bite hard to bring prey down then coils around them . Once it's coiled impossible to move . I also read that it smells prey so guidelines on handling are that you shouldn't smell of rabbits , pigs or prey animals . Don't know if it could small from a foot distance but none of us were told to wash hands before coming to see the snake .
This type of snake has killed small children before although not in a farm

HerRoyalNotness Mon 06-Jun-16 00:40:29

the handler Explained it was a dangerous and aggressive snake and would attach unprovoked even f not hungry

At this point you had a choice to move away from the spectacle. I'm assuming you didn't.

ColdTeaAgain Mon 06-Jun-16 00:44:33

It's only going to attack like that if it's really hungry or under attack itself. Assuming they keep the thing well fed, I can't see how letting it have a little slither about in the grass while people watched was a problem as long as the staff were keeping a close eye on it in case it escaped!

BillSykesDog Mon 06-Jun-16 00:45:16

I don't think it would have had much chance to get coiled around a small child when surrounded by people.

It's also extremely unlikely to be hungry enough to be bothered with the effort and possibly tame to some extent.

BestZebbie Mon 06-Jun-16 00:47:06

Is it the sort of animal that knows what prey is too much trouble to bother with?
I'd imagine that a snake just wouldn't go for an adult human at all (assuming it couldn't swallow one) and wouldn't try a child if there was a whole pack of adults around ready to attack it (the thought being that it might still manage to kill the child but it would get too injured in the process to be worth it for one meal).

MistressMerryWeather Mon 06-Jun-16 00:49:58

If they had been popping it around people's necks for photos you may have had a point but a non-venomous, well-fed snake farting about a field with two handlers isn't something I would worry about. It sounds like you were standing away from it anyhow.

Stop Googling 'African Rock Python', you're freaking yourself out. grin

lisalisa Mon 06-Jun-16 00:54:12

"It's not only going to attack if it's hungry or threatened ".
This is not the case . This type of snake killed two sleeping boys in CAnada a year or so ago and a 2 yr old girl also sleeping a year before that .
Neither were threatening it as all were asleep and it didn't eat the kids ( although we were told it could easily swallow young children ) so it wasn't hungry . It simply killed them as it is an aggressive snake .
I don't know - my instinct looking back at this- is that it was ill thought out and dangerous to have us all so close without a proper barrier to the snake .

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 06-Jun-16 00:56:01

I agree with the general sentiment. If you are concerned then email the farm and ask them what their protocols for this event were.
I suspect they'd just fed it and were watching it carefully. You were warned it was 'dangerous' too and you chose to stay.

UterusUterusGhali Mon 06-Jun-16 00:59:01

It would have been fed I guess prior to its outing.
And it's handlers were with it at all times?

YABU I think.

There is of course some degree of risk with these things. With ALL things. You take your kid for the "experience" with a snake, of course there's a risk.
You can't expect some middle class bubble to appear.

PansOnFire Mon 06-Jun-16 00:59:23

OP I'm with you on this one, not sure what you can do about it but I definitely think this was a huge risk.

Chocolatethief Mon 06-Jun-16 01:07:02

I don't think you are being u, if it was me I would have had to stay so I knew where it was until it was put back. It could have quickly got out of hand and what if a child got scared and screamed and it felt threatened. I think you should ask them about it.

cdtaylornats Mon 06-Jun-16 01:08:02

If it was 22ft long report it to the Guinnes Book of Records because the longest on reported was 19 feet and the longest confirmed was 15 feet.

pinkyredrose Mon 06-Jun-16 01:09:10

Doubt it would've been fed before being shown, large snakes can take days to digest a meal, they can be sluggish and difficult to move. Seems pretty dangerous to me, they move bloody fast when they're ensnaring prey and are v v strong. Don't think I'd like to be a foot away from one!

ReadyPlayerOne Mon 06-Jun-16 01:10:04

I'm with you OP. I know snakes well enough to not freak at the sound of a supervised snake demonstration, but many herpetologists agree that this breed is particularly aggressive and difficult to tame. im not sure what you'd do with your information though. I have read that once over a certain size they shouldn't be handled, but other than that there's nothing to say they can't be kept.

pinkyredrose Mon 06-Jun-16 01:11:05

Actually yeah, a 22 ft snake roaming around a field at a petting zoo! Sounds a trifle odd.

MistressMerryWeather Mon 06-Jun-16 01:11:25

I read about the children, awful stories.

But experts said that this was unusual behaviour for that breed of snake.

Beeziekn33ze Mon 06-Jun-16 01:12:34

OP Contact:
The British Herpetological Society www.thebhs.org
Federation of British Herpetologists www.fbh.org.uk
(who have a Best Practice Guide)
A university Dept. of Zoo-ology
RSPCA

Depending upon what advice you get, then contact the farm.
It sounds a bit too casual!

IamPoopyHead Mon 06-Jun-16 01:13:18

I would assume that they were confident enough with the snake to know that they could do as they were doing.
There are many animals on a farm that could potentially be much more dangerous than that snake. You could get your head kicked in by a goat... grin

MadamDeathstare Mon 06-Jun-16 01:20:18

I'm more worried about the safety of the snake. If it did decide to wrap itself around someone and couldn't be removed, it would have to be killed.

Querty12345 Mon 06-Jun-16 01:21:24

Might be a really stupid question but could the snake have been de fanged or sedated or something so it wasn't dangerous? And then they laid it on thick about it being dangerous to freak you out?

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