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 Ophiophagus bite

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Jon Davidson
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 7:40

Paul Rowley wrote:


Luke wore the gloves to protect himself from bites. He obtained his own stocks of antivenom because he knew just how dangerous these snakes could be and he knew that the nearest "official" antiventom stocks where in Liverpool around an hours drive away. Yes, he took risks ...... but that was Luke..... what a lot of people may not realise is that Luke was at the time of that fatal bite already terminally ill with cancer... he only had a weeks to live. I know he didn't want to die from a snake-bite..... as I keep saying, I have empathy for anyone who is bitten, regardless of the circumstances.
Did Mr. Yeoman wear gloves on his head or face...? Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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Dillon Haining
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 7:41

Paul Rowley wrote:
I wouldn't wish a venomous bite on anyone regardless of how or why it happened.

While I would never wish a venomous snake bite on anyone, I do believe that people with this kind of "Machismo" attitude (free handling and "tricks") towards handling venomous snakes are certainly just asking to get bit. I don't know what this sort of handling is supposed to achieve other than scrutiny by the public and fellow venomous keepers.

In regards to Mr Yeoman's Incident:
While I am glad that Mr. Yeoman was prepared with antivenom, I don't understand how he was "taking precautions" by using nothing but Hexarmour Gloves. There are numerous problems associated with these gloves, so to believe that these gloves alone would prevent a bite is foolish in my eyes...


Last edited by Dillon Haining on Wed 30 Jan - 8:11; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Further Information)
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Paul Rowley
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 7:47

Quote :
Did Mr. Yeoman wear gloves on his head or face...? Sincerely, Jon Davidson .

No, of course not!
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Paul Rowley
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 8:13

Dillon Haining wrote:
Paul Rowley wrote:
I wouldn't wish a venomous bite on anyone regardless of how or why it happened.

While I would never wish a venomous snake bite on anyone, I do believe that people with this kind of "Machismo" attitude (free handling and "tricks") towards handling venomous snakes are certainly just asking to get bit. I don't know what this sort of handling is supposed to achieve other than scrutiny by the public and fellow venomous keepers.

In regards to Mr Yeoman's Incident:
While I am glad that Mr. Yeoman was prepared with antivenom, I don't understand how he was "taking precautions" by using nothing but Hexarmour Gloves. There are numerous problems associated with these gloves, so to believe that these gloves alone would prevent a bite is foolish in my eyes. Had he been using a hook and tailing the snake to keep it at arm's reach away there would be no reason for him to have been biten.

Ok, first off, I'm in total agreement about the Hexarmour Gloves and I've actually upset a few people with my dislike of them. I don't trust them and I can't work in them at all.... the only time I have used them is to pick up my young Beaded Lizard, more of a scoop him up and lift him out of the cage... if I need to actually restrain him I will do it without the gloves.

King Cobras are big snakes (I have a 3.5m Malaysian male at the moment) hooking and tailing a snake of that size takes skill because if they really want to they can climb over a 3' hook to bite you..... king cobras are really intelligent and can be trained..... some kings can be spooked by people using hooks or even worse tongs on them. More so than any other species, you need to build up a working relationship with kings... mutual respect goes a long way.
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Dillon Haining
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 8:29

Well I am glad that we agree on the Hexarmour topic.

As for the King Cobras, I agree it would take considerable skill to hook and tail a snake as large as a King but I do not feel that it is in anyway condonable to free handle it. I would enjoy hearing your methods of handling your King..
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Paul Rowley
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 8:51

Dillon Haining wrote:
Well I am glad that we agree on the Hexarmour topic.

As for the King Cobras, I agree it would take considerable skill to hook and tail a snake as large as a King but I do not feel that it is in anyway condonable to free handle it. I would enjoy hearing your methods of handling your King..

Dillon, I'm in total agreement with you.... I don't condone free handling .... but whether we like it or not some people still do it.

I use a 36" custom John Zegel hook, may tail the cobra depending on the situation... the rest is down to having fast reflexes, giving yourself plenty of space to work and being able to "read" the snake.
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Jon Davidson
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 11:44

Paul Rowley wrote:
Dillon Haining wrote:
Well I am glad that we agree on the Hexarmour topic.

As for the King Cobras, I agree it would take considerable skill to hook and tail a snake as large as a King but I do not feel that it is in anyway condonable to free handle it. I would enjoy hearing your methods of handling your King..

Dillon, I'm in total agreement with you.... I don't condone free handling .... but whether we like it or not some people still do it.

I use a 36" custom John Zegel hook, may tail the cobra depending on the situation... the rest is down to having fast reflexes, giving yourself plenty of space to work and being able to "read" the snake.
I can't help but wonder why a 'professional herpetologist' would even respond to(according to what he's told us) a barely legal teenager with no experience whatsoever (and therefore no idea what he's talking about) who's seeking information on how to handle live venomous snakes over the internet. Perhaps someone should contact the local Internet Provider who could in turn contact the local Police or Childrens Aid Society so that the parents of this young interenet entity can exercise some Parental Control and supervision. The young entity could learn something( as it so earnestly professed that it wish to do) if he/she would just know when it's time be silent in a discussion. As for Mr. Mastenbroek, I invite him to come on the site, when he's sufficiently recovered from this particular bite, and provide some details as to how the bite occurred(?). I'm certain that Mr. Mastenbroek has a version of events prepared... So let's hear it. Mr. Zurcher has proven himself to be a capable Moderator who can calm things down should the converstion become nasty and I believe that the community could benefit greatly from hearing the details of the activities, context and events that led up to this bite from Mr. Mastenbroek himself. I look forward to having the opportunity to hear about this bite and asking for clarity on some of the details of the incident, should that be necessary. Please feel free to join in any potential discussion, Mr. Rowley. I'm certain that your perspective on this issue based on your many years of experience would be most welcome by all VL members. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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Dillon Haining
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 12:32

While I cannot speak for Mr. Rowley I can speak for myself in that I have just as much right to express my own opinion on the topic as you do regardless of experience. I never made any outlandish claims which you have clearly done (see quote below)..

Jon Davidson wrote:
Perhaps someone should contact the local Internet Provider who could in turn contact the local Police or Childrens Aid Society so that the parents of this young interenet entity can exercise some Parental Control and supervision.

If you knew anything about me, you would know that I am a hardworking student who has a passion for these animals. There is absolutely no need for the claim above because I do not live at home, I work to pay for the things that I have including the internet I am on now, expressing my opinion on this topic. While granted, you are correct in that I do not have any experience, I am a member on here to learn and share my opinion not to be attacked. I never made any claims stating I knew anything I meerly shared my own opinion of what I have gathered over the last 9 months of being a member here..

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Jon Davidson
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 13:03

Dillon Haining wrote:
' I meerly shared my own opinion of what I have gathered over the last 9 months of being a member here.. '

My point exactly. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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Wolfgang Wüster
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 16:20

FWIW Luke Yeomans got bitten during routine maintenance, not while freehandling.
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Peter Zürcher
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 17:31

Quote :
Luke Yeomans got bitten during routine maintenance, not while freehandling.

Yes, this may be, Wolfgang, but it can't be taken (and i don't think you do) neither as an excuse or a legitimation for freehandling nor does it make freehandling better in any way.
Didn't we all expect that Steve Irwin might be bitten by a Taipan, a Mamba or any other venomous snake some day instead of beeing stung by a ray?

I know, as a long experienced keeper (with a handful of bites during my career) that most bites happen while doing simple routine maintenance, on the other hand i wonder why almost every bitten freehandler claims that it did not happen while performing his risky actions.
I do not include Luke and his tragic accident here, even if one can see on his videos that he took definitely risks and there have been chances to get bitten more than once.
I wish he would have done his great work with less risks, less show acts and more respect for these creatures, beside that, i honor his work and i'm looking up to him for still doing his job and living his passion under the circumstances Paul mentioned here.
regards,
Peter

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Paul Rowley
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 18:01

Jon Davidson wrote:
Paul Rowley wrote:
Dillon Haining wrote:
.

.
I can't help but wonder why a 'professional herpetologist' would even respond to(according to what he's told us) a barely legal teenager with no experience whatsoever (and therefore no idea what he's talking about) who's seeking information on how to handle live venomous snakes over the internet. .
It is because I along with others am prepared to help any younger guys who show an interest in venomous snakes..... surely it is better that they come here for advice than getting their information from watching some unknown "expert" on u-tube.
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Paul Rowley
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 18:13

Wolfgang Wüster wrote:
FWIW Luke Yeomans got bitten during routine maintenance, not while freehandling.

Absolutely!!!! we both know the facts behind that case don't we Wolfgang.

And I would agree with Peter that "routine" procedures have the potential to be just as dangerous..... it is very much a case of expect the unexpected.... but even that mind-set can become "routine". Some procedures such as free-handling are inherently unsafe, but any procedure involving venomous snakes carries a risk no matter how safe we try to be.
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Wolfgang Wüster
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 19:31

Peter Zürcher wrote:
Quote :
Luke Yeomans got bitten during routine maintenance, not while freehandling.

Yes, this may be, Wolfgang, but it can't be taken (and i don't think you do) neither as an excuse or a legitimation for freehandling nor does it make freehandling better in any way.

Didn't we all expect that Steve Irwin might be bitten by a Taipan, a Mamba or any other venomous snake some day instead of beeing stung by a ray?

I know, as a long experienced keeper (with a handful of bites during my career) that most bites happen while doing simple routine maintenance, on the other hand i wonder why almost every bitten freehandler claims that it did not happen while performing his risky actions.

You are right, I certainly don't endorse the freehandling, and more especially the showing-off of freehandling, especially because it could lead those without experience to try it out.

Regarding bites to habitual freehandlers, in many cases we will never truly know how they got bitten, whether while freehandling (followed by denial) or during routine activities. At a guess, it seems highly likely that *some* of the denials will be untrue (just like nobody would openly admit to getting bitten while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, yet we know it happens all the time), but quite possibly in a substantial proportion of cases, the bites really did happen during routine activities. I find it interesting that, even taking account the bites of unknown causation, a lot of routine freehandlers do seem to get away with their activities for a remarkably long time. In the case of some recent high-profile bites, I have been surprised that it has taken as long as it did for the person concerned to be bitten. Clearly, many do know what they are doing and are highly skilled at it. Steve Irwin is the perfect example: he did things most of us would regard as foolhardy, yet he was fine when he worked with animals he was familiar with. He died while doing something seemingly simple and innocuous with an animal that he was much less familiar with.

Interesting topic.
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Scott Eipper
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 20:03

Jon Davidson wrote:
Paul Rowley wrote:
Dillon Haining wrote:
Well I am glad that we agree on the Hexarmour topic.

As for the King Cobras, I agree it would take considerable skill to hook and tail a snake as large as a King but I do not feel that it is in anyway condonable to free handle it. I would enjoy hearing your methods of handling your King..

Dillon, I'm in total agreement with you.... I don't condone free handling .... but whether we like it or not some people still do it.

I use a 36" custom John Zegel hook, may tail the cobra depending on the situation... the rest is down to having fast reflexes, giving yourself plenty of space to work and being able to "read" the snake.
I can't help but wonder why a 'professional herpetologist' would even respond to(according to what he's told us) a barely legal teenager with no experience whatsoever (and therefore no idea what he's talking about) who's seeking information on how to handle live venomous snakes over the internet. Perhaps someone should contact the local Internet Provider who could in turn contact the local Police or Childrens Aid Society so that the parents of this young interenet entity can exercise some Parental Control and supervision. The young entity could learn something( as it so earnestly professed that it wish to do) if he/she would just know when it's time be silent in a discussion. As for Mr. Mastenbroek, I invite him to come on the site, when he's sufficiently recovered from this particular bite, and provide some details as to how the bite occurred(?). I'm certain that Mr. Mastenbroek has a version of events prepared... So let's hear it. Mr. Zurcher has proven himself to be a capable Moderator who can calm things down should the converstion become nasty and I believe that the community could benefit greatly from hearing the details of the activities, context and events that led up to this bite from Mr. Mastenbroek himself. I look forward to having the opportunity to hear about this bite and asking for clarity on some of the details of the incident, should that be necessary. Please feel free to join in any potential discussion, Mr. Rowley. I'm certain that your perspective on this issue based on your many years of experience would be most welcome by all VL members. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .

Hi Jon,

First off, I will start by saying that I have a right to an opinion much like you do and everyone else here.

I have no experience with Ophiophagus at all. I am not going to comment on them specifically but I do have some experience working with large mobile elapids.

There are almost two types of freehandling if you will. One type allows for complete unrestrained movement of venomous snakes, allowing the snake to come well into "range" if you will. The second is one of where by movement of the midbody the snake is effectively tailed in an attempt to keep the snake from coming into 'range'. The second method certainly has a place as a legitimate handling method and to the untrained eye it can appear dangerous, however if the person doing it is competent, knows that individual snake and the species well, the risk can be minimised to a point. Granted for the most part many private keepers would not need to part take in such an activity if they use items such as shift/trap boxes etc.

As for the bites sustained by both Richard and Mr Yeomans unless you were there, how do you know details surrounding the bite? Are you speculating as to how and why, or making an assumption based on what has been spoken on an internet forum. I honestly doubt the actions of two keepers in a different continent to you will have far reaching effects in Canada, but then again I might be wrong. I hazard to guess you would have a coronary if you knew what happened in Australia!

I know many freehandlers, I was one myself for years. Like many I have sustained bites from venomous snakes. However I have never been bitten while handling a snake, each time was due to flat out laziness on my part due to complacency. Bites sustained by just about all of the keepers I know are from complacent behavior, not handling methods.

Barely legal teenager.....well many people under 18 keep venomous snakes, many of the members of this board I guess were working with venomous snakes prior to that magical age of 18. Just like you, Mr Haining can have an opinion and is welcome to voice it.
From your avatar photo you appear to be quite old in comparison to me (32), should I assume that you are senile and struggle with memory loss due to your age?....Of course not, that would be stupid and to say it publicly could be deemed offensive. The point I am making here is that an internet assumption can be incorrect, surely a call to emergency services based on such a fact would be a ludicrous as my statement above.
We can only be judged by others from our contributions and our reputation. We are best remembered from our latest contribution, why not make it a positive one.

Cheers,
Scott Eipper





Last edited by Scott Eipper on Wed 30 Jan - 20:22; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missed a sentance)
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Peter Zürcher
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 20:28

Quote :
by movement of the midbody the snake is effectively tailed

Sorry, do not understand that well. What exactly is meant with "moving of the midbody"?
I know snake tailing only from using a hand and a hook - and that's not freehandling in my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 20:34

Hi Peter,

In Australia, tailing refers to holding a snake only by the tail without a hook. What you described is what we call hook and tail.

Cheers,
Scott Eipper
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 20:42

Here in Europe tailing is "hook and tail" in your "language" then.

I still do not see your system to be safe and avoiding the snake coming into range only with bare hands and not using any tools...........

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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 20:56

It is not the safest method I agree, but its not my method either. The idea behind it is the snake is kept "off balance" by movements in the hand and wrist of the handler.

Again, smart snake keeping comes down to risk mitigation. Its interesting, different places have different ideas of "safe" practice, time and time again I see people use tongs overseas and I cringe. I see them as a very easy way for someone to get bitten and yet seemingly accepted as a perfectly safe solution over there.
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Wed 30 Jan - 21:29

I do not have any experience with Australian elapids, except Oxyuranus miicrolepidotus, and i used to and ever will keep my hands away from them (except there's a reason to hold them and they're properly pinned)
I would love to see that demonstrated with a large, angry and ever-hungry Naja melanoleuca or a Naja philippinensis. They won't give a s..t on hand and wrist movements and everything will loose "balance" as soon as you start...
I could do that easily with other species known to be and stay calm, like Naja atra, but i do not see a reason to do so. I'm feeling quite comfortable with my hand and hook tailing method.

and by the way: I have a tong here, never used it on snakes - only feeding crocodiles with it.

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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Thu 31 Jan - 0:17

Hi Mr Davidson, Whilst there are many opinions on style and technique, nobody can doubt lukes passion and knowledge for kings and all reptiles, i dont quiet understand why we cant just say we dissagree and not go into personal attacks, lets concentrate on the positives, like paul says luke was luke nobody can change who he was, but he was the first person to breed kings in the uk, he worked with adder conservation, lets remember the good things and remember what he did bring to the venomous world in knowledge and enthusiasm, i know how much his family meant to him and im sure he would have rather the accident hadnt happened. In relation to Richard why dont we find out the facts before crucifying him on a forum, we all love venomous, and have something in common. lets enjoy what we enjoy and share info between the community and get on.
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Thu 31 Jan - 0:45

Fact is, no matter what you do and how careful you are, keeping venomous snakes involves handling them at some point, and this will put you at risk of getting bitten. Of course technique determines in large parts whether that risk will be higher or moderate, but in the end, there will be some non-zero risk remaining. However, the mortality risk is much lower still as the vast majority of even the most notorious of the venomous bunch - contrary to widely held believes - will not typically produce a life-threatening bite. For instance, in large series of proven PNG taipan bites only about half of the victims were presenting with life-threatening symptoms. I guess what I want to say is: keep your techniques up, avoid getting careless with time, but don't panic if it happens. I don't believe that our hobby is any more dangerous than other moderately dangerous hobbies; for example, here in Germany we have approx. 30,000 accidents per year with horses, almost half of them involving kids, and not few of them debilitating or even lethal.
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Thu 31 Jan - 1:26

Scott Eipper wrote:


Hi Jon,

First off, I will start by saying that I have a right to an opinion much like you do and everyone else here.

I have no experience with Ophiophagus at all. I am not going to comment on them specifically but I do have some experience working with large mobile elapids.

There are almost two types of freehandling if you will. One type allows for complete unrestrained movement of venomous snakes, allowing the snake to come well into "range" if you will. The second is one of where by movement of the midbody the snake is effectively tailed in an attempt to keep the snake from coming into 'range'. The second method certainly has a place as a legitimate handling method and to the untrained eye it can appear dangerous, however if the person doing it is competent, knows that individual snake and the species well, the risk can be minimised to a point. Granted for the most part many private keepers would not need to part take in such an activity if they use items such as shift/trap boxes etc.

As for the bites sustained by both Richard and Mr Yeomans unless you were there, how do you know details surrounding the bite? Are you speculating as to how and why, or making an assumption based on what has been spoken on an internet forum. I honestly doubt the actions of two keepers in a different continent to you will have far reaching effects in Canada, but then again I might be wrong. I hazard to guess you would have a coronary if you knew what happened in Australia!

I know many freehandlers, I was one myself for years. Like many I have sustained bites from venomous snakes. However I have never been bitten while handling a snake, each time was due to flat out laziness on my part due to complacency. Bites sustained by just about all of the keepers I know are from complacent behavior, not handling methods.

Barely legal teenager.....well many people under 18 keep venomous snakes, many of the members of this board I guess were working with venomous snakes prior to that magical age of 18. Just like you, Mr Haining can have an opinion and is welcome to voice it.
From your avatar photo you appear to be quite old in comparison to me (32), should I assume that you are senile and struggle with memory loss due to your age?....Of course not, that would be stupid and to say it publicly could be deemed offensive. The point I am making here is that an internet assumption can be incorrect, surely a call to emergency services based on such a fact would be a ludicrous as my statement above.
We can only be judged by others from our contributions and our reputation. We are best remembered from our latest contribution, why not make it a positive one.

Cheers,
Scott Eipper



Your observation that everyone has a right to their opinion is correct. However, some opinions, such as ones based on many years experience- or in this case a few decades of direct experience, study and observation- are clearly worth more than than the silly musings of an adolescent with an obvious sense that he's entitled to participate in discussions even though he has absolutely no experience at all(according to what he's told us)in this particular area. This internet entity continues to offer his 'opinion' about things that he knows nothing about(again, according to the teenager himself). This adolescent 'opinion' is based solely(according to what he's told us ) on what he's read on this web site. So, Yes, I think that it may be appropriate to contact the local authorities in this case just as I think that it would be appropriate to contact the authorities if an adolescent teenager was spending hours upon hours on a web site devoted to firearms and target shooting( for example) and wanted information on how to handle firearms( or high explosives or dangerous biological cultures, etc., etc.,...)over the internet. So... again, I would suggest that the adolescent entity simply remain silent in this discussion so that they may be able to learn something- as they have repeatedly asserted they wish to do. Please note further that your descriptions of freehandling techniques- however fascinating to teenage internet 'wannabes'- are unnecessary- certainly to me and the many other long time experiened keepers on VL. Rest assured that the legitimate experienced keepers are well aware of the issue of freehandling live venomous snakes and more importantly, the negative consequenses and reprecussions when an 'accident' enevitably occurrs- and that's what this discussion should be about. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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Jon Davidson
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Thu 31 Jan - 2:29

pete blake wrote:
Hi Mr Davidson, Whilst there are many opinions on style and technique, nobody can doubt lukes passion and knowledge for kings and all reptiles, i dont quiet understand why we cant just say we dissagree and not go into personal attacks, lets concentrate on the positives, like paul says luke was luke nobody can change who he was, but he was the first person to breed kings in the uk, he worked with adder conservation, lets remember the good things and remember what he did bring to the venomous world in knowledge and enthusiasm, i know how much his family meant to him and im sure he would have rather the accident hadnt happened. In relation to Richard why dont we find out the facts before crucifying him on a forum, we all love venomous, and have something in common. lets enjoy what we enjoy and share info between the community and get on.
Mr. Yeoman's endeavours with breeding and conservation efforts may be all well and good, Mr. Blake; but lets be candid here... What will resonate as Mr. Yeoman's legacy? Will it be his conservation efforts with adders or will it be his signature 'Kiss of Death' stunts. If you check back to the links that I posted earlier in the discussion, you'll see that I expressed the view that Mr. Yeoman's death was tragic because it was so senseless and that yes, indeed, Mr. Yeoman could of made a more signifigant contribution beyond his stupid and dangerous antics with live venomous snakes. Also, please note that I have never 'crucified' anyone here with personal attacks- unlike Mr. Mastenbroek, who posted what many believe were liabelous and actionable personal attacks against me on Facebook as well as a crudely inferred threat of physical violence directed at me via a PM here on VL- all beacuse of my polite inquiries into his conduct with live venomous snakes. That link/ PM is available upon request. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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pete blake
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PostSubject: Re: Ophiophagus bite   Thu 31 Jan - 4:46

my only point mr davidson is there will always be different opinions on handling and techniques, and your right experience teaches you things, but i dont know why we cant concentrate on what people do well rather than our own personal opinions on there handling, Paul , I , and a number of other maybe have a better understanding of luke as we were friends, surely like you say on the experience of handling venomous snakes that it improves your understanding and opinioons, is this not the same when you actually know people rather than just going on internet articles or pictures. all im saying is theres alot more than those pics that made luke who he was. in relation to personal attacks no one , even you should be subjected to personal attacks or the threat of violence, one should be able to debate a subject such as freehandling or indeed the general handling of kings without bringing in someones character, ones opinions are indeed that and free speech without the threats and abuse should be the core of a democratic society,

i would be interested in knowing after your comments on how you would handle or recommend handling of a 12ft king
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