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In your opinion, is that sort of size fairly manageable ... strong, and obviously any handling would never be done alone.

At that size, if it suddenly got it into its head that it wanted to kill you, it would, and there's very little you'd be able to do about it. One other person present is the bare minimum precaution you should take, I reckon.

Yes, I'm quite well aware of that. At present he is between 7-8ft and although I feel fully able to handle him alone at the moment, I always make sure someone else is around for safety reasons, even if it's only my son. As he grows bigger though, I will only handle him in the presence of another strong adult, or two Emotion: smile I will add that I keep a very sharp knife and a bottle of alcohol within reach of the big snakes' vivs should an unfortunate incidence occur.
Burms can be very, very friendly snakes for a lot of years, and this can lull their keepers into a ... who have essentially given up keeping snakes after a bad encounter with a "tame" Burm, or even a Boa constrictor.

Out of the two of them, I think I fear the Boa more, purely due to the strength she displays rather than her size. When I say 'fear' I don't mean I'm scared of her but I know she is capable of killing me if she so wished, just by constricting me in the right position.
The Burm is much more laid back and I feel totally at ease with him in most situations. He is the one, however, that demonstrates a good feeding response whenever food is around, whereas the RTB can have a rat in her enclosure for an hour or so before coming to investigate it.

I have been very carefull, so far in the way I feed the Burm, compared to how I normally interact with him, so he doesn't associate me with food, and so far so good Emotion: smile
However, I would nevertake for granted any of my snake's behaviour, including my "mini cobra" the hognose!!! and I always observe them carefully when interacting with any of them. I've even been accused of being 'over cautious' at times!!! ... but I'd rather that than risk my life because of some stupid mistake Emotion: smile
Chloe
I will add that I keep a very sharp knife and a bottle of alcohol within reach of the big snakes' vivs should an unfortunate incidence occur.

If you do get constricted, it is quite likely that your arms will be pinned, preventing you from using either of these items.

I hope you never have to find out.
Luke

To email me, take out the trash.
I will add that I keep a very sharp knife ... of the big snakes' vivs should an unfortunate incidence occur.

If you do get constricted, it is quite likely that your arms will be pinned, preventing you from using either of these items.

Hence why I always have someone else present, and instructed in what to do in such a situation.
I hope you never have to find out.

I sincerely hope I never have to either. One can never be too careful handling big boids though, but I do try to minimise the risk of any "accidents". I'd be absolutely gutted at having to kill one of my snakes in such a situation, but I wouldn't think twice about it where a human life was at stake.
Chloe
I will add that I keep a very sharp knife and a bottle of alcohol within reach of the big snakes' vivs should anunfortunate incidence occur.

There have been many incidences where owners who have had the tables turned on them tried using a knife on large snakes (Burms, Retics, etc), with little luck. Not to mention you also risk slicing yourself in the incident. When things like this happen, there is usually a LOT of commotion and activity going on..do you really want someone wielding a knife near you in that type of situation.
One of the best ways to get a large Boid (actually, any snake) to release it's grip, is to douse it with HOT water. They will quickly release...however, once the snake lets go, cool it off with some cool water if possible.
How can I do this you may ask?
Simple. I have a hose hanging by each of my large snake cages that is directly attached to the hot-water heater; which is something most people can accomplish with little hassle.
~Wade
My thoughts are, after a snake reaches about 8 feet in length, it should never be handled while alone. I even wait until my wife is present to clean out my Boa's tank. She's only about 7 feet. The Boa, not my wife..lol.
If instructed on what to do, I think even a small second person is all that is needed to safely handle any snake up to about 12 feet. Common sense in handling is the most important factor. Never, ever, be lulled into being too comfortable with a big snake. No matter how tame they seem. I have had a 12 foot Burm turn on me, and had to go to a friends house & remove a 10 footer that went ballistic. Both were fine & back to their "tame" selves a week later, although my friend was so scared of his 10 footer, that I ended up keeping it until I found it a new home..lol.
If wrapped while alone, as you said earlier, your arms may be all tied up. This would prevent anything, whether hot water, knife, alcohol, or whatever, from being of any use. I know for a fact that a second person can unwrap a 12 foot Burm if they can find the tail, or loose the jaws if it has bitten you.
Luci, my Boa, is the sweetest snake I think I have ever kept. Every now and then I let her explore the living room floor while we clean her tank. But I will not go at her front to pick her back up. Always from behind.
Just ALWAYS use common sense, and have someone else present when you handle a large Boid. Up to about 12 feet there should be very little problem.
And never get a Retic..lol.
Roger
The Burm is much more laid back and I feel totally at ease with himin most situations.

I was just pontificating on this subject last night. I've sure you've seen me post about the extra-tameness of my Borneo short tail, she's so laid back I can part her lips without any real restraint. I'm thankful for how trustworthy she is, she's wonderful with large groups of people, even children.
Last night thought I'd get her out before I went through her cage-cleaning routine. Her cage only needs to be thoroughly cleaned every few weeks; her substrate is newspaper and she craps in her hide box... usually I just change her water a couple of times a week.

Anyway, I opened up the door (which she was leaning on) and she turned around and hissed at me. Mouth closed, just a loud exhale. She assumed striking position, without moving the rest of her big fat body. I've seen her strike and constrict a dead rat with all the terror of a hurricane. I reached in and stroked her sides some, and she tracked my hand and hissed the whole time.
I just decided at that moment that she was in a bad mood. I looked at her feeding schedule and it's only been 10 days since her last jumbo rat, but I pulled a new one out to defrost anyway. She won't eat weekly for me so I've been going 14 days.
The guys were all the living room, watching, asking me why I wasn't taking out my big girl if she's so frigging tame. I explained to them obviously if I have a big, strong snake... and she's *** off and potentially hungry... I'm just not going to mess with her. I cleaned out her whole cage without disturbing her and she happily slithered over into her freshened moist hide.
Feeding her tonight, maybe handling time will be a couple of days... )
Just found a source for 3-5 lb weanling rabbits! WOOHOO here's hoping she loves them!
fr0glet
I've kept my burm, Noodle and my RTB, Slim, together in the same cage for over ten years.
They are both puppydogs and have been handled by thousands of kids and adults in the last 12 years without one single problem or accident. Noodle is about 12 feet and Slim is well over 9 feet long.
In the 40 plus years I've been herping, I have yet to see 2 snakes of 2 different species in "combat" with each other, not even on TV.
My wife is 5'2", 120 lbs, and has been handling Slim and Noodle for over
10 years, and still does.
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