17 Temmuz 2011

I Love All My Snakes

Twitter'dan duyurmuştum ilginç bir röportaj hazırlığındayım diye. Röportaj teklifim kabul edildi ve harika bir röportaj çıktı. Tabii yazı ile anlaştığımız için soruları gönderip cevapları aldım. Bu nedenle sohbet havasında ilerlemiyor ama olur o kadar. 
Kullandığım fotoğrafların hepsi John'a ait ve fotoğrafları izni ile kullandım, izinsiz kullanılmamasını belirtmem gerek. 
Türkçesi, yazı daha da uzamasın diye yorumlarda. 
Buyurun bakalım:

Pippi: Thank you for accepting my request. At first, could you please introduce yourself to the audience? 

John: John. I'm 45, work in food service business as a district manager. I live in Las Vegas, Nv. Live with my wife and 4 kids. 

Pippi: How many animals currently live at home with, and what are their species?

John: I currently own 16 snakes (ball pythons, jungle carpet pythons, red tail boas, corn snakes, rainbow boa, and a yellow anaconda).
Plus I have 10 baby corn snakes that have just hatched a few weeks ago. I also have leapord geckos, bearded dragons, and a blue tongue skink. And two dogs. 

Pippi: When animals began to get interested you, especially the reptiles? What was the species of your first animal, and how old were you at that time?

John: I have always been interested in animals. Had dogs and cats as pets when growing up. But this last December I got my first snake after seeing a good friends snakes. Once I got one it just went from there. 

Pippi: And what about your family? What are they thinking about your animals? Are they okay with it? 

John: My wife is really great with the animals the first snake I brought home she wasnt sure at first but since has grown to really love them. She has her favorites that she handles a lot. My son helps me with the feeding and taking care of the snakes, he is 17 and really likes helping. I have taugh all the kids to respect the snakes and not be afraid of them but know that they are not toys to be played with. All my kids are 17 or older so that helps. 

Pippi: Your photo albums on Facebook are both attractive and scary for most people. How people react when they see the pictures? What is their first reaction like, most of the times? Do these reactions affect in you any ways?

John: Well reactions vary depending on if they like snakes or not. Those that know and love snakes love the pictures. Others that are scared of snakes are scared of the pictures. I always try to explain to those that are afraid of snakes that there is not really anything to be afraid of. Most snakes are more afraid of us then we are of them. And as long as you know how to handle and respect the snake, then snakes can be a wonderful pet.

Pippi: What are the dangers to live with animals? What are the precautions you’re taking?

John: The first thing I would say is that there is danger in keeping any animal from a dog to a cat to a snake. The main thing is knowing how to handle and what to do and what not to do. Dogs for example can be loving or mean and bite depends on how they are treated from a puppy. Same can be said for any animal show it love and it will love back show it aggression and it will be aggressive back. Precautions with snakes are making sure that you have a secure tank for that has some form of locking top. This is present in most tanks sold. It may just be a clip that latches on the outside a snake cant open that. Other precautions would be know what you doing to begin with. You need to research any animal before you buy them. Make sure how long the snake will live (some over 20 years) how big will it get (some over 25 feet) how much and how often to feed it. What to feed it. I handle my snakes often making them used to me and teaching them to not be aggresive. If you have bigger snakes then you should always have someone with you when you handle them. 

Pippi: If I’m not wrong, you’ve been bitten by the animals several times? How was that felt? Is there a threat when they bit you? Are there any other dangers beside the bites? 

John: I have been bite three times now and all three times it was something I did wrong when feeding the snakes. Snake bites that I have had have all felt like a small pinch nothing more. But bigger snakes can take bigger bites. None of the snakes I have are poisonous but there are those out there but I wouldnt own them its a risk I wouldnt take. 

Pippi: When a snake becomes dangerous? On the newspaper they said there was a python attacked it’s owner’s child, why these things happen? What was the owner’s mistakes, what do you think? 

John: I read the report on this but thats all I know. So anything I say can only be said from that report. Saying that the report I read said that the people had not feed the snake in over a month. That is way to long most snakes should be feed every 10 days at least I usually do 7 days. The other thing I read is that they had no lid on the tank just a blanket thrown on top of it. That is not a good way to house any snake much less a big snake like a burmese python. Anything else I could say would not be contrustive so I will not say. 

Pippi: Do the snakes perceive you as a threat sometimes? Do you hesitate to be with them sometimes because of this?

John: My snakes are tame from me handling them but I also always let my snakes know I am going to pick them up by making sure that they see me and not grabbing them when they are sleeping or ever bothering them when they are feeding. Snakes can perceive us as a threat though because we are so much bigger than them but with proper handling and care they will get to know you and not be aggressive when handling them 

Pippi: You take care of more than one species, do they live together in the same space? How are the relations between them, any problems for you?

John: I never house different species together. I do house the same kind of snakes together. Even though most breeds of snakes wont have any problem with each other there are some that do. 

Pippi: How much money do you spend for them in a month? What’s their favorite food? From where do you provide the food?

John: Different size snakes are fed different size either mice or rats. I feed only frozen/thawed. I never feed live in my opinion it makes the snake more aggressive and can also hurt the snake if they are not ready to eat. The mouse or rat will defend itself and can hurt the snake. I get all my food from the Snake Shop here locally. I don't know how much a month I spend but its probably somewhere around $100. 

Pippi: Where did you get your animals? Do you research the countries, places they lived before or on what circumstances they lived, how they caught?

John: I get most of my snakes and other reptiles from the Snake Shop here. Prices vary depending on breed of snakes to sex of snakes and size of snakes. Most expenisive one I have bought cost me $300. He is a albino red tail boa a beautiful snake. I research every snake I get before I get them to make sure what size they will get and how to house them. Most the snakes you will buy in pet store are captive born. I would never take a snake that was caught in the wild it could have all kinds of parsites and such because of what they eat and were they live. Plus they would be more aggressive caught from wild. 

Pippi: What are your suggestions to people who want to take care such animals like yours? Let’s say, I want a python, what I should I do first?

John: The first thing I tell anyone who wants to get a snake is research it. Know how long the snake will live. How to house it. How to feed it. What to feed and when to feed. How much to feed. A good beginner snake I think is a corn snake or a ball python. Both only get around 5 feet full grown and neither are very thick or very aggresive. Corns I would say are a perfect choice for a beginner. Ball pythons are also a great beginner snake very calm and hardly ever bite.

Pippi: What do you want to say to people which scared of these kind of animals? What should they know? What should we going to do when see a snake in the forest? Any suggestions?

John: If you see any snake in the wild walk away from it. Give it wide room. Remember they are just as or more afraid of you as you are them. People who are afraid of snakes I would say to them that they need to touch one. Feel the skin it looks wet and slimey maybe but its not it is smooth and the look of wet comes from the light hitting the scales. Snakes are not mean or evil they are just snakes. Some are very beautiful and can be a great pet if handled correctly. 

Pippi: Do you plan to get some new animals soon? If yes, what kind of?

John: Right now I am not planning on getting anymore snakes at this time but I am sure I will in the future. 

Pippi: It was nice to meet you and your family. Thank you for the interview.

John: In closing I would like to say I am in no way a expert on snakes. I have read and researched a lot about snakes and ask questions about things I dont know about. I love all my snakes and take very good care of them. It can be a lot of work at times but it is a lot of fun also. Snakes can be a great pet if handled properly. I was sad when I read the story of the baby being killed by the burmese python. Someone posted the link on my facebook page. There have been other stories I have read in the past about things like this and in almost all the cases it was because the owners didnt handle the snakes properly. I have 26 snakes and never has one got out of its cage ever. I handle and feed my snakes every week. I also give my snakes baths and clean their cages regularly each week. I change their water daily and check each cage every day turning on and off heat lamps. I would never own a snake I couldnt properly take care of either being able to buy food for them or house them correctly. As I said it can be a lot of work but I really love it. I think snakes can make great pets if handled with respect and proper care.