How to Handle a Grumpy Snake (Without Getting Bitten?)

Though I would recommend not handling them, sometimes it is necessary to pick up a defensive snake. Today we’ll see how I would do it if I didn’t have a snake hook (hopefully without getting bitten).


Welcome. We’re doing something a little different here today. Which is: I’m gonna get bit by a snake. A lot of people have asked me how do you get a reptile out of its enclosure – especially a grumpy reptile.

And I’m gonna show you and it’s probably going to involve me getting bitten by a snake for the third time in my life. So you know this is a privilege I suppose. In my whole life I’ve only been bitten by two snakes. And both of them were lazy biters. They weren’t defensive, they weren’t scared. I was just holding them and I don’t know if I smelled like food or what the deal was but they just kind of came up and went nom! I’m really good about not getting bitten by defensive snakes because a defensive snake is really easy to identify. It’ll be looking at you and wherever you go it’ll follow you. And my strategy for avoiding bites is: I don’t grab them. I just don’t like getting bitten by snakes but I’ve decided I’m not gonna let that hold me back anymore. I have missed some snakes before because I didn’t want to get tagged. This snake, I still don’t want to get tagged, but it’s not gonna be a big deal. This is honestly stupid that I’m even concerned about this snake because this snake is just a baby corn snake. This is not its normal enclosure this is just for transportation. But I got this snake as a rescue because it was so grumpy that the person that had it couldn’t deal with it anymore. And it is a grumpy snake. They also couldn’t get it to eat and he’s been eating great for me.

Anyway, this is my snake and what I’m doing right now is I’m just trying not to mess with it too much. As soon as it feels my hand back here though it’s gonna wheel around and there it goes. Yep. This is a beautiful snake, I love it. I am just not comfortable getting bitten by snakes. But it’s silly because if the snake bites me it probably won’t even break the skin. I’m gonna try to distract it with my offhand a little bit. What I’m hoping to do… this snake is currently coiled up and grabbing a coiled snake is really hard. So what I’m hoping to do is make it feel not so trapped. Which in an enclosure… in a container this small it’s gonna feel trapped. I want to get it on the move. Because once it’s on the move I can grab it back by the tail and kind of start to handle it so that it can feel that I’m not I’m not trying to eat it. Because it’s concern, right? This snake doesn’t want to try to me. It doesn’t want to bite me. It just wants me to go away. I’ve got it cornered and trapped and so it’s having to defend itself. And my hope is that I can get it to run and if it’ll run it’ll be fairly easy to grab. So let’s see if I can talk it into going somewhere. Okay, the snake is turning and it’s looking at my hand which is exactly what would normally tell me to leave this snake alone. But today I’m doing something I don’t normally do. Hey there….

The other thing I would do, which I’m not doing right now, and which I normally do with this snake if I need to move it is I would use a little snake hook. Which I can use to get it on the move and then I can kind of pick it up and I can control the head with the snake hook. I’m assuming that most of you don’t have a snake hook and so I’m trying to do this barehanded. So I’m gonna now turn the enclosure, so that the snake is not cornered against the wall and it can run over that way. And I’m gonna say go away snake why don’t you go that way why are you concerned with me I’ve got all this space over here right. Come on snake. Nothing. Snakes don’t here particularly well because they don’t have any ears and all the sounds that they can hear they pick up through their jawbone. So I don’t anticipate that he knows what I’m talking about.

Oh, but I got him on the move! I got him on the move! Yeah, you can do it little snake. You can do it. Now that he’s on the move I’m gonna get him by the tail. And just like that, hopefully… this little event will come to a happy ending. Well that went well. So far so good, so far so good. We’re almost there, were 90% of the way there. We’re just showing it hey I’m not gonna eat you but I am nice and warm. Wouldn’t you like to come hang out with me little snake? Oh you’re not so bad, are you? You’re not so bad. You’re not so grumpy. You just don’t want to get eaten. When you’re a noodle with a head the world’s a scary place and when you’re a baby noodle with a head it’s an even scarier place.

But this beautiful little creature and I, I think are gonna be just fine. We’re gonna be good friends. Well I’m grateful that you could be here with me for this wonderful little experience. Sorry, I didn’t get bitten. I’m sure if you hang out with me long enough and we keep making these videos – which we intend to keep making these videos – you’re gonna see me get bitten by all kinds of stuff. For the record: I get bitten by lizards all the time it’s just snakes. I know what they look like when they’re about to get me and I just go, nah.

As always like and subscribe and we hope to see you real soon. As always like and subscribe… ooh ooh! This is the best, the figure-eight. See we’re best friends now, this little snake and I. Love it! Wonderful little snake. Good times. Aren’t they a misunderstood beast? That went well. You’re not so bad. You’re not so bad.