Snake Awareness Week

The problem with exotic pets

I don’t know if you heard about the tragic case that happened in England a couple of weeks ago where a man was bitten by his favourite Egyptian cobra and died on the spot.  His name was Luke Yeomans, and he seems to have been a committted and decent sort of guy, dedicated to protecting endangered species of reptiles.

But …

Why do I pause?

Because it was England, not Egypt.  Why would someone have a zoo full of venomous North African snakes in England?  When I first heard the story about a man with a snake sanctuary, I just assumed for some reason that it was in India or Africa where the snakes live, but no.  It was in Nottinghamshire.

Listen.  These things are fucking deadly.  One shot of cobra venom can kill an elephant, and yet, according to newspaper reports, Luke Yeomans was in the habit of kissing his snakes.  Why would you do that?  Why the fuck would you go anywhere near an animal that has no feelings, no empathy, no interest in you and the ability to shoot you full of deadly poison faster than, well, faster than a slow snake, which would still be too fast for you?

Yeoman, it seems, had a fascination for snakes since he was about 11, and he grew up with a bedroom full of cobras when he was in his teens, eventually ending up with his own pet shop.  I bet that wowed his girlfriends.

This man knew snakes and yet one of them killed him, but he also knew the risks.

Imagine if a teenager was obsessed with herds of wildebeest.  What kind of a life would his parents have? But we have to protect these herds of wildebeest from crocodile attack.   They must live in my bedroom.

How far do you go with the urge to protect wild animals from Africa, Asia and the Antipodes when you live in Nottinghamshire?  We all agree it’s a terrible thing that animals are becoming extinct due to the activities of poachers, multinational energy companies and unscrupulous governments, but are we going fill our homes full of Polar bears and wolverines?

Come on now.  Would you kiss a fucking polar bear?

What next — Love a Hyena Week?

If you make a habit of kissing deadly, elephant-killing snakes, sooner or later one of them is going to bite you in the face and fucking kill you.


Yes.  It makes sense.  Don’t kiss a venomous snake.  It doesn’t take Einstein to figure this out.

I thought pretty much the same thing when Steve Irwin got skewered by a manta.  What are you doing, you fool?  Why are you pulling alligators around by the tail?  Why are you teasing Komodo dragons when you know full well their saliva is filled with deadly bacteria?

Are you mad?

Well, yes.  That’s the answer.  These people are fucking nuts.

After all, it’s not like Bear Grylls, where you slide down a glacier with your entire film crew, your personal trainer, your therapist, your mother and your hairdresser while a French waiter hands you garlic cockroaches to nibble.

This is real shit.  A cobra biting you is pretty much a guarantee of a free pass to the afterlife, which of course means no life at all.  You’re dead.  What is wrong with these people?

I’ll just kiss my pet Tasmanian Devil and hope it doesn’t rip my face off.


21 thoughts on “Snake Awareness Week

  1. It’s probably a bit like getting trousered and bringing a deadly venimous orange pojama clad waah home night and having to justify it for years to come by putting it in a display cabinet and putting it on the Jeremy Kyle show, just so you can call him a cunt to his face.

  2. I have always found eccentric people to be the most interesting.Anyhow guys like this are really not much different from those who race motorbikes etc.They know the dangers but thats their passion.As for “love a Hyena week” Hyenas are actually very likeable and intelligent creatures when as they say you get to know them.Saw a wildlife documentary recently where a guy befriended a Hyena pack.They were very trusting of him and in no way aggressive.They also have a very complicated social structure and in this case ganged up on and overthrew the pack leader when she became power drunk.Her punishment afterwards was that she had to walk at the back of the pack and was the last to be allowed to eat.No fat payoff and a pension there : )

  3. Hyenas are cats ! amazing, i never knew that, i thought as William did.
    I do wonder though about people who want to own exotic pets, Is it some kind of Tarzan complex or power trip ?
    We have had an array of pets, all indiginous though, the kids when they were young nearly always had a pet lamb, As those lambs grew into sheep and hung out with the dogs they all took on dog mannerisms and behaviour, they would run to the gate when people called and just stopped short of barking, one of my daughters friends told me recently that the first time she came to our house, she really thought she had entered the twilight zone, one sheep in front of the fire with a couple of dogs, another lying fast asleep in the window box outside the front door, and the pet goose , until Charlie had her for a snack, that could have been seen as ” barmy ” we saw it as totally normal.
    Its a small bit more civilised now…………no sheep no kid’s.
    Are’nt exotic pets big big business though ? i read somewhere recently of some guy coming through a European airport who was stopped by Customs and he had an entire litter of Cheetah cubs in his suitcase.

  4. I read once that some queen of England.. Mary or Victoria or Elizabeth the something, used to have sex with her stallion. And I don’t mean the king.. the giddy-up type of stallion.
    And they’re going on about a woman with a dog over in these parts!

  5. That was i think , Queen Isabella of Spain, She died in her pursuit of pleasure with the stallion you mentioned.

  6. You might also think of Pasiphae, who gave birth to the Minotaur after Dedalus constructed an artificial cow for her to hide inside. The consequence of this folly was the construction of a labyrinth, the untimely death of Icarus and the extraordinary tale involving Theseus, Ariadne and a ball of string to escape after killing the half-bull half man monster. There’s no knowing where such congress will end.

  7. As the story goes, Theseus’s love for Ariadne addled his mind so much on the journey back to Athens, he forgot to put up the white sail, Aegeus assuming his son was dead ,threw himself into the sea and drowned, So Minos had the last laugh.

  8. He who lies with goats shall rise with fleas, as the proverb goes. Queen Isabella should have known better. Different people get their jollies in different ways. I’m not against people having exotic pets as long as they treat them as pets and not as humans. If I could meet a farmer who breeds golden geese, sure I’d buy one, take it home, feed it lovingly with golden oats and caviar and hope it might lay eggs of a certain scintillating colour. I might meet a farmer who breeds flying pigs too – but fucking flying pigs can lead to in-flight turbulence. Besides, pigs have a body odour very less alluring than that of the late Queen Isabella. So I won’t dream about flying pigs and their ancilliary imaginative potentialities. I’ll stick to reading The Beano and Dandy.

  9. I like snakes, but wouldn’t be interested in venomous ones. I can suppose that a lot of eejits obtained venomous snakes in England, got caught/realised they were being stupid, and this fellow was licensed to ‘shelter’ them. Whoopsie.
    I had to research the hyena comment, as I’d never heard they were cats. They aren’t: “Hyenas are a family of their own, the Hyaenidae. They’re more closely related to cats than dogs, but their closest relatives are the Herpestidae — mongooses, meerkats and such.” And just for funsies, the female spotted hyena has a “huge clitoris she can erect at will and even has a sack of fibrous tissue that looks like testicles.”

  10. Erynne, I’ve just realised that one of my old girlfriends must have been a spotted hyena. I just thought she was a little odd, beauty and the eye of the beholder etc.

  11. “Snake Awareness Week? I must be getting mixed up. I held a party for Erectile Dysfunction sufferers yesterday. Nobody came.”

    ha ha Jimmy Bastard. Not TMI at all now.. good one.

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