Aggressive Snake Hang Out

Hi guys, Welcome back to Animal Wonders.
We’re in the reptile room right now and we’re going to check in with one of
our lesser known animals, Freya, the Northern Pine Snake. The reason that she’s lesser known is because
Freya is actually quite aggressive, and I don’t handle her or bring her out
as much as I do other animals. We got Freya as an adult, and
she was dropped off at a local shelter and they didn’t know what she was.
So they called us up and said “Hey! We have this snake. Can you please take it?” It was pretty obvious from the
moment that I met her that she hadn’t been handled very much,
so she’s a challenge to work with. It is good to keep trying to interact with her because
it will help stimulate her mind and body. So today I wanted to take her out and show you how I manage working with an aggressive snake The first thing I grab is my tool– and, I know
it’s a spatula. A lot of snake handlers will use a snake hook, but I just feel
more comfortable with a spatula. They’re easily replaceable, and…
I’ll show you how it works She’s quite active, she sees all the commotion…
I’m going to slip my spatula in and you can see that I’m going to use the
flat side of the spatula to block her head… So that I can reach in back here and grab her before she notices my hand, and get her body all the way out here. Supporting every third of her body … Alright, there we go! So now that I have her in my hands, I just want to make sure that I’m not moving around
too much– I want her to feel really calm and comfortable. A lot of times aggressive snakes will
be aggressive inside their enclosure, but once you get them out they will calm down
and they won’t be as aggressive. But Freya has bitten me several times
while I’ve been holding her, so I always want to make sure that
I am not instigating a reaction by moving around too much. So I just hold her
very, very still and steady Well this is going really well so far, she doesn’t seem very stressed out. She’s tongue flicking but not rapidly,
so she’s not really seeking out food. And she’s not jerking… she’s just slowly exploring her new situation.
Another thing that she’s done while I’ve held her is that she musked on me.
And that’s when they open their cloaca and they secrete a really stinky, foul liquid. And that’s a defense mechanism that they would do
if they were feeling threatened. She did that one of the first times I held her. Probably because it was a new experience
and she hadn’t really been handled before She hasn’t musked since. I’m just really– I’m really impressed
with how well she’s doing A lot of the time people see me holding an animal
and they look really calm, and they assume that it’s easy to handle these animals, when in fact,
all of my senses are on high alert because I’m very focused on everything that she’s doing,
because I know she’s an aggressive animal and I want to make sure I stay calm
so that she stays comfortable. When an animal becomes more comfortable with me,
then I can kind of relax and move around a little bit more naturally, but right now… I’m just going to stay as still as I can. Right now,
Freya does not do public presentations, we’re still getting her comfortable being handled
and being out in the public with a lot of external stimuli would probably overwhelm her,
and she’d become defensive. And she’d either musk or strike and we’re making
such good progress that I just want this to be her experience being handled right now Freya is doing so good right now that
I’m going to attempt to move my hands and just manipulate her head a little bit,
like I might do in a show to show off her face. Did you see how I just slowly moved my arm
so that her chin rested on a new surface of my hand?
Very non-threatening. And you can see that she’s now moving to readjust, and find a
new, comfortable position to relax in. Alright, Freya did so good.
I’m going to go ahead and end this session now and let her go on back home…
just very gently move my hand … move her body off my hand… annnnnd we’re out.
Ah! Success! That went so well! I’m so glad that she was so calm,
and I didn’t get bit. I did warn Matt that we might have some drama
on screen today, but I’m glad it was drama-free, and my arms are intact
and it was just ahhhhh… I’m just so happy that that went so well Thank you for going on this adventure with me
and if you would like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our
YouTube Channel, Animal Wonders Montana Thanks and we’ll see you next week!

74 thoughts on “Aggressive Snake Hang Out

  1. Not only did I learn how to handle an aggressive snake; I learned you can talk just as well without moving your hands. So you're not Italian. ;^) I love your videos and your enthusiasm.

  2. Pituophis melanoleucus is nonvenomous right?
    I would imagine it still hurts to get bit.
    What is your gameplan if you get bit? What would you do? Are bite wounds prone to infections like they would be with cats, dogs and other animals?

  3. In situations like that, is it possible to give the snake any treats while training them to be calm? Also, would it work to show Freya a video of other snakes being well behaved in similar situations, thus if she is thinking about biting everything, she will feel more awkward as being the only one acting unnecessarily violent?

  4. Hey Jessie I got a rag doll 4 months ago is it normal for her to be making grumbling sounds while she's sleeping

  5. It's a wonder to me how you can manage these handling situations so well. And, no, I don't think this is easy at all!

  6. Jesse you are such a pleasant person, I thoroughly enjoy these videos and the way you interact with your animals.

  7. I havent had the joy of knowing a snake personally in over a decade, but I always thought it was funny how people dont think snakes are rewarding pets. sure they dont express love the way dogs do, but theirs something so satifying about having this non domesticated animal trust you enough to just kind of hang out on your hand or whatever.

  8. do u have to worry about which animals ur seeing/have just seen in regards to predator/prey smells?? i mean, u have a fare mix of the two… does that cause an issue?

  9. Defensive* snake. There is no such thing as an aggressive snake. Unless it is "cage aggression". that is usually the feeding response. it's an instinctual behavior caused by being fed inside the cage. Nothing wrong with it. But they just need to be snapped out of that pavlovian response with regular hook or spatula training. But if she is biting out of the cage it is out of fear. Most likely the fear of being eaten. With regular conditioning most snakes adjust to regular handling.

    Source :Snake breeder with many species under my belt.

  10. Please please please put a warning in the title if she gets bitten/harmed, because I'm really terrified of seeing that.

  11. If you HAD been bitten again while making this video, would you have left it in? One one hand: that's a reality of handling animals and it might be interesting to see how you handle the situation. On the other hand: seeing you harmed by a snake might reinforce the negative, pre-existing opinions some people have.

  12. That was awesome Jessi. I love reptiles and used to work in the reptile dept of a pet store. I love seeing a cool uncommonly shown species like that being introduced to the public.

    Even bigger bonus with a snake who has not gotten used to human handling having a good experience with you. Hopefully Freya will continue to learn she can trust you, and eventually learn how much of a friend you are. Hopefully one day Freya will be an ambassador who will enjoy going out to presentations.

  13. Hello Jessi! I think Freya is lovely. I own a 5'5"-6' red tailed boa (it's been awhile since I've measured him so I'm not exactly sure how long he is), named Socrates. He's only ever bitten or struck at me on a handful of occasions in all the years I've been handling him. It's definitely a possibility that you always have to keep in mind, and why it's so important to be respectful when handling these types of animals. But as long as they feel comfortable and safe, you get to handle this amazing creature! Sometimes I feel like I practically own a dinosaur! Socrates is a pretty chill snake, for the most part. He likes having staring contests with me. I hope Freya can grow more comfortable with being handled, & maybe one day be an ambassador animal. She's a very lovely snake. Best wishes!

  14. my snake is such a sweet heart when you pick him up he wraps around your arm then bites your hand and after that just to make sure you know that he loves you he poops in the cut not musk actual poop such a sweet heart and that is why i only pet him now i really wish he liked me i have tryed on many occasions to handle him but every time he strikes and bites so i just pet him instead he doesnt like that to much but hes getting better so im hopeing one day he will like me or at least except me

  15. Assuming nothing out of the ordinary has happened, which area(s) of AWM would you say are the most…aromatic? 😉

  16. I was on the edge of my seat during most of the video, I'm very happy we only have Garter snakes around here. Heck, I don't remember even seeing one in at least 30 years, but the area I now live in is far from nature.

  17. Gorgeous snake. My friends snake was aggressive in the cage but once he got the snake out of there he cage the snake like did a 180 and would be totally calm as the snake got older it calmed down and wasn't aggressive in the cage anymore either.

  18. Thank you for remaining calm. Keep up the work. Also in the future when showing a snake (you did not do this and I am very thankful.), remain calm and allow them to move and do not gesture much with your hands. Snakes don't see well and the movement is seen as a threat. It bugs me when someone is handling a snake or another reptile (rodents can be skidish, and even insects/arachnids) and are gesturing too much when talking. A lot of strikes can come from startling an animal.

    When I handle a snake I support their weight and just relax and be calm. Bites happen, but when they have that built trust it becomes better. Snakes are a grounded (burrows, on ground, in water, in trees) animal, and are used to being safe with support under them which makes handling a long training process to get them comfortable for being held. Younger snakes lack this experience and may strike more often.

  19. if an animal isnt showing any discernable progress after an extended period of time of trying various methods, what would you do with it?

  20. Great video! Any more tips to help with an aggressive snake? Mine is a corn snake, so it's weird that he is so aggressive. I don't think it's anything I've done since he's my second corn snake and my first was was super sweet and never even struck at me, whereas my current one Archie strikes all the time, and recently bit me, drawing blood for the first time. It's been getting better now that I'm using a snake hook to take him out, but I'm just wondering if there is any way to help him settle down. Picking him up is the biggest issue, he doesn't usually bite after that point, but sometimes he'll strike at me when I turn around, hitting the glass of his tank. Is there possible for a snake to just be mean spirited?

  21. These are actually really great tips! My adult male corn snake is food aggressive and territorial of his cage, and truth be told I live a busy life and I don't handle him nearly as much as I used to. I mean to start taking him out and socializing him more so he gets more used to people again and stops freaking out and striking every time somebody goes into his cage or attempts to take him out. (And before anyone mentions it, no I do not feed him in his cage)

  22. Do you ever find yourself "afraid" (didn't have a better word) or reluctant to work with a stubborn, somewhat aggressive animal? Not the usual "high alert, paying attention to their language and space," but actively not wanting it? If so, how do you deal with that?

  23. I have a Southern Pine snake! He was a bit feisty when we first got him as he hadn't been handled much at all. But we've managed to make a load of progress with him, it's like he's a completely different animal from when we first got him!

  24. Is this snake venomous? If so do you have vials of anti-venom at hand? What is your usual protocol if you get bitten? Thanks love your channel, keep making great content!!

  25. I love that you continue to love and care for animals even after thay've bitten you. I've seen so many people, even in rescue, who will write off an animal as unsavable when they exhibit anti-social behaviors like that.

    Another reason to love Animal Wonders. =)

  26. Dear Jessi,
    I would like to know how you handle being biten – like you manage to try to handle her again after wards. Aren't you afraid of the bite? Also what do you do the moment you are bitten? How do you desolve this situation?
    Thank you for your amazing videos!

  27. You have the best lighting and video recordings. What Camera and lighting equipment are you using? Top notch content matched equally with pristine production. Love it!!!??????????

  28. I'm so glad it went well. But yikes! Snakes are scary. I was freaking out and tense just watching this video.

  29. I have never heard anyone pronouncing Freya like that. It's a common name in Denmark and it's not pronounced like that at all.

  30. One thing I learned when working with animals that may be considered "prey" by larger animals: If you pick them up from below (like Jesse does here) they're much calmer than if you grab them from above. If you think about the experience in the wild, a predator will usually swoop or pounce from above and grab or pin the animal – so you'd understand if they started lashing out defensively by biting, scratching or tail whipping (musking – been there, smelled that!) If, instead you support them from below, give them a way to steady themselves and pick them up then you're just a big, warm, non-threatening tree branch rather than a predator – and they're more likely to remain calm and explore around a bit.

    I learned this when handling reptiles but it's also applicable when handling the smaller mammals as well…

  31. Jesse I want to ask you something our dog diesel is old and he's barking a lot mainly when it's turning night and it's probably just him going blind and he's also uncontrolled peeing and I would like to ask what does that mean he's about 12 years old please answer

  32. You probably, at least once in a while, should remind people to also hit the bell icon as well as subscribe. Or they will not get notifications of new videos (no idea why youtube added the bell thing, just a extra annoying step).

    Always nice to see a new video and a new animal. =)

  33. This video made me feel a bad person. I was somewhat expecting you got bitten, and since this didn't happen, I felt a little disappointed. So, I'm now a sad bad person.

  34. I have been thinking of getting a corn snake but I need to know more about there care do you ha e any advice

  35. My are quite DEFENSIVE as well. Check out my reptile videos. Ill subscribe to your channel, please subscribe back! Thank you!

  36. What a nice female Northern Pine. My own Northern will shake his tail when he is displeased but has never even attempted to strike. I have no fear when I handle any nonvenomous snake, but I'm a snake fanatic among other things. Taking an animal out of its cage is when the fireworks usually start. I was bitten by a Boa Constrictor for doing this, before I got smart. My wife can handle the Pine snake without any fear of a bite, although she is bothered by their "angry eyes", as she likes to put it. It helps that my animal is captive-bred too. If I'm even in your neighborhood, maybe we can get Freya laid. Then she'll be even more relaxed and make her a fine addition to any reptile presentation involving children.

  37. What a gorgeous snake! I've never seen a Pine Snake. I'll assume they're in the calubrid family. Love the olive and dark green color and cool pattern. She's a beauty.

  38. She's not aggressive or even defensive, she's probably just got a high feed response, which isn't a bad thing, in fact it's a good thing.

  39. Love your channel Jessi! But be careful using such a strong term such as “aggressive”. A snake really doesn’t go out of its way to be aggressive. Snakes aren’t really aggressive creatures. They are just being defensive of their territory and well being.

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