Gilded Serpent presents...
Dancing with Snakes
Neferteri and the cute guy wrap around me is Seiti. He
is an Albino Green Burmese Python, approximately 5 years old
and about 5.5' long. Seiti is my baby and he loves the camera. I
take him to a lot of photo shoots and he seems to know when the
camera is near and strikes a pose. Seiti the Ham, why he does
this is his sssssssssssecret. Seiti came into my life by chance. Someone
else had put a deposit on him and never came to pick him up. So
as fate would have it, he became mine. Seiti also has his own
fan club, (I kid you not). When I dance with him, his fan club
wants to know when and where and they usually show up.
one of 33 snakes that I presently own. Why in the Goddess's
name would make anyone want that many snakes? I need one for
each costume I have! Just kidding. While I do have a colorful
assortment of snakes, that isn't the reason. I just really
fell in love with snakes. Next year I am planning an exhibit
and we have plans to breed them. My snakes have Arabic names,
the Borneo Blood Python is name Reda (guess
who his name sake is), the Columbia Boa is named Amir after
the drummer Amir Sofi, and I have a stunning Stripe Motley
Corn, which is an orange snake with a white stripe named after
my husband Mostafa. I have quite a few female
snakes but I don't know how some of my sister dancers would
feel about that, perhaps I might ask them!
good pets. There is no changing the litter box everyday or
waking up early or re-arranging plans to walk the dog. There
are no annual shots or neutering or spaying requirements. They
eat either every other week or so and can even act as deterrents
to burglary, certainly if roaming freely in the house when
someone breaks in.
a snake, it is important to remember several things. Snakes
can live for 25-30 years. This is a long time to be committed
to an animal. They will probably out last most marriages.
are wild animals and one must never forget that, so respect
important thing is if you want a happy and health snake, just
like with anything else, you will have to work at it.
conducting research about the kind of snake you purchase is
also very important. I currently have Pythons, Rainbow Boa
Constrictors, King Snakes, Corn Snakes, and Taiwan Beauty Snakes. I
had to learn about the temperature humidity, which ones can
be housed together or not. Also, I have two gorgeous albino
California king snakes.
are cannibals so it's a big "no no" to house
any king snakes together, except when they are breeding. But
even then, someone has to watch them at all times. My
female did try to eat the male!
check and make sure you are knowledgeable regarding their best
have their own room with a scenic view of Las Vegas, and it
is temperature controlled. I change the water at least once
a week, often more if they soil the water. There are about
26 bowls of water to change weekly. I am glad I pay a flat
rate for water. Bedding is changed at least every six weeks. I
recommend Aspen Bedding.
priority for anyone with a snake is to handle it as often
as you can.
make the snake more adapt to being picked up and held (one
of my trade secrets). Also, I never feed them in their enclosure
(feeding takes more time this way but it is worth it). I do
this because they will not associate feeding with the opening
of the cage. If you feed them in another container like a
large Tupperware bowl (there goes my Tupperware rep!) the snake
won't snap at you. I find a lot of people get snapped at and
wonder why? I have been doing this for years and never had
a problem with them. It is more work but the benefits of knowing
you are not going to get bitten is worth the effort.
important thing is to never handle their food with your
bare hands and then try to feed the snake. This is a
sure way of getting bitten.
I have seen
so many people pick up a rat or mouse and wonder why the snake
bites or snaps at them. Remember the smell of the rodent is
still on you hands and the snake will not be able to tell the
difference. I always use tongs to put the rodent in the cage. Which
brings me to another point.
do not feed your snakes live rodents. Contrary to popular
belief, the rodents can injure the snake. They are trapped
in a container with the snake. The rodent has teeth
and claws and will injure or take out an eye of the snake.
no good for the snake to fight for its food, other than having
a hostile snake that you can't pick up. After handling your
snake you want to wash your hands. Snakes can cause you to
become sick, remember they shed their skin. So wash your hands
just like with any other animal you handle.
far as heating goes, it is recommended to use a heat mat outside
of the tank vs. heat rocks, which can burn your snake. I recommend
a heat mat outside the tank. I find heat rocks can burn your
snake so don't let anyone talk you into purchasing them!
thing I suggest when purchasing a snake it to buy one from
a reliable breeder, as you would with a dog or cat. Not to
bash pet stores, but they really don't take the time or care
with snakes in my opinion. I have acquired all of my snakes
from good breeders. I have heard some horror stories, luckily,
I have great breeder here in Las Vegas, The Snake Shop (Seiti's
old home). They are awesome and they guarantee the health
of their animals. They can tell you about the temperaments
and eating habits of each snake. They really care about the
animals they sell you. If a problem comes up you can call
them or bring the snake in at no charge.
sound like a lot of work but it really isn't once you get the
hang of it. A lot of time and effort is put into my snakes
because I love dancing with them, and this love translates
as not having to worry about my snake's attitude. Belly Dancing
is complicated enough without having to worry about an unhappy
snake. I truly enjoy watching and learning about these creatures
that have been here for millions of years. They are remarkable.
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