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Steps to Bagging a Small (< 2m) Venomous Snake

I just got a Facebook message from a friend that was out finding snakes last night in Taiwan. He asked how I go about bagging dangerous snakes when I’m alone. I gave him this message:

Good question… I usually do this:

1. Grab the snake anywhere – usually just before mid body, I leave the tongs tight enough that it can just move forward in them a little bit at a time.

2. I move quickly to a wide open grass or dirt spot if one is available.

3. I open the snake bag with left hand and put part on the ground and lift up the top of the bag to open it up. I kind of point the snake towards it. Sometimes it goes right in. If not, sometimes I grab a handful of leaves and put those just on the inside of the bag to make it look more natural – sometimes the snake goes right in then.

4. If he isn’t in yet, I re-grab at the neck – firmly with the tongs and stick his head the whole way to the bottom of the bag. I then try to get his tail in.

5. Once in I seal the bag around the tong handle and let the snake go with the tongs – tongs still in bag. I move tongs up to top of bag and locate snake’s head. I twist the bag to seal off top of bag before removing tongs and tying off the bag.

Hope that helps! It is always a scary feeling to be doing it on your own…

It isn’t ideal to be out looking for deadly snakes at night on your own, but I find myself in that situation quite often here in Southern Thailand. I don’t have one friend that wants to go with me – imagine that!

I take a lot of time to bag the snake, being exceptionally careful when it is a monocled cobra, krait, or something else with extremely toxic venom. I am not in any hurry, and I think if I try to go fast I’m going to make a mistake that could cause me a bite. It might take me 10 minutes or even more, to bag a snake by myself that is giving me difficulty. Take your time, and above all – be absolutely sure where the head is and where it could get to fast if it decided to strike.


Snake posts by Vern Lovic. Amateur herpetologist roaming about Thailand on field herping tours and events to find king cobras, kraits, vipers, corals, keelbacks, and other snakes native to Thailand. FYI - Thailand has over 200 snake species. Here's our latest book with detailed information on Thailand's 35 Deadly Snakes. "Is That Snake In Your House Dangerous? Identify Deadly Thailand Snakes In Under 5 Minutes!" INFO HERE.

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