Free Handling Venomous Snakes – Is It the Thrill?
Over the years I’ve known a number of people who free handled venomous snakes in a way that made me uncomfortable. If you don’t know what free handling is, I define it as holding a snake in your hands without tools and without restricting the head of the snake in any way. The snake could bite, or at least strike, whenever it chose to do so.
Recently I had a visit by a guy I’ve known for a few years who has taken free handling venomous (deadly) snakes to a whole new level. Malayan pit vipers, green pit vipers, king cobras, monocled cobras, all of these he has free handled.
Why would someone free handle deadly snakes?
Primarily it’s the thrill. Why do we do anything dangerous when we know that one of the possible outcomes is pain, grief, maybe loss of a limb or other permanent disability or death? It’s the thrill of danger that comes with holding a snake that can kill you.
For me, I get that thrill too, but I get it while holding the head firmly in my hand, or by just tailing the snake with my left hand and guiding its upper body with my snake hook. Guiding it away from me so it doesn’t have the chance to strike and envenomate me. That’s plenty thrilling for me.
Have a look at this video, if you’re interested in the subject. I talked for about 15 minutes about it – just to explain my stance on free handling.
I’d also love to hear what you think personally about the subject, so post it in the comments!
Free Handling Venomous Snakes – Podcast 1
I’m calling my long monologues ‘podcasts’ because these are things only someone with a real interest in the subject are going to enjoy watching or listening to. I did spice up the video with some images of snakebite effects and free handling photos as well.