Humane way to kill a snake

Submitted by Steve on 3/8/02. ( )

I just read the slurry of replys to the humane way tokill a snake, seems that we all touched a nerve on thesubject of killing snakes in general. I agree that rattle snakes and other snakes have a place and should be left there. I capture several on the job sights I visit doing my job each year, and I haul them off to let them go some place to keep them from being killed. I however, put down several snakes that areinjured or ones I do not feel I can capture safly with out harm to myself. I spent ime in the vegas hospital for saving a small mojave green from traffic. I have found that injecting thesnake with rubbing alcohol kills the snake in seconds and it doesn't move or have reflex actions after that. I agree that we sould all get our snakes from guys that breed them and have specimins that die off. A wilderness with out snakes would be ruined by rodents and effect our huntable bird populations as well. They should be left alone and admired not killed.

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Ain't no INHUMANE way

This response submitted by George on 3/8/02. ( )

But injecting ANYTHING with alcohol has to be close. Put the snake in a bag and put it in the freezer. As its body temp lowers, it goes into a dormancy and dies in an unconscious state painlessly.

Snakes are the devil

This response submitted by Eric on 3/8/02. ( )

Sorry, but snakes are one creature that I don't feel we have to kill humanely. Anything that can walk and doesn't have legs...well...that's the devil!
Take care all, Eric

Life is life

This response submitted by CUR on 3/9/02. ( )

A snake is by far a superior life form than most lawyers I have met. there are many ways to kill a snake. Most of the methods that come to mind will not leave a mountable speciman afterward.

The two easiest methods are heat and cold. Snakes cannot survive if their body temperature exceeds 102 degrees F. Likewise, they cannot tolerate long term freezing. You can euthanize a snake by placing in a freezer for a term of one week. (That is several days longer than required, but it incorporates a safety net for whoever thaws it.) A quicker and more humane method (if such a method exists), is to simply place the snake in a bag and submerge it in hot water. DO NOT use boiling water. Plain old tap water from your hot water heater will do the job in seconds! In fact, the water need be only 110-120 degrees F to do the job. Do not leave the snake submerged for an extended period, since this method causes rigor mortis to set in quickly and the result is one pretty stiff snake.

Chemical injection may be used. One of the best products for euthanization is Pentobarbital Sodium. Its commercial name is "Nembutal" and it is sold at some drugstores for veterinary use at a strength of one gram per cc. There are two types of Nembutal, a clear, thin liquid, and a dark brown, syrupy liquid (elixir). The clear type is preferable. Nembutal must be diluted with water before using. Dilutions should be one part Nembutal to nine parts water. Small snakes and lizards require only a few drops of this solution; large lizards and snakes (over two or three feet long), about one cc. or more. Death is usually very quick, often within a few seconds. Injection should be made either into or near the heart for rapid action.

The only other method that comes to mind is to slam on the brakes just as your tires are upon the snake. This will insure rapid death and,unfortunately for the taxidermist, dismemberment.

See ya


This response submitted by CUR on 3/9/02. ( )

Son, get laid or a life, whichever comes first. The Devil? The Devil is female and lives in New York. Her name is Hillary. Her first looie is a bitch named Fonda. Snakes are actually beneficial life forms. In addition, they are libraries of science knowledge that we lowly humans are just beginning to understand. The reptiles, as a class, are complex and chemically oriented life forms that the human race can learn a lot by studying. Parapelegics crawl when they fall from their wheel chairs. Does that make them the Devil? Sheesh, find yourself a woman with big boobs and lighten up on this devil crap!

words of wisdom

This response submitted by on 3/9/02. ( )

Well hello BILL? Cant be! NAH! NO WAY! HA! HA!
As George and Bill stated, I have found the bet way is to put them in a cloth bag or pillow case, and just put them in the freezer. I also used to work in Alabama for a company i owned called Extreme Pest Control. I would get numerous calls about rattlers in bathtubs, cottonmouths in the neighbors pool, etc etc. I used to go and catch them and bag em and let em go back away from IDIOTS like eric! If i could not capture them safely enough( having to reach into a wall crevise blindly and yank em out with gloves) I would kill em, and bring them back to the den for mounting purposes. Snakes are a far superior species and have lived and survived on this eart much longer thean ourselves. I mount only the sick and dead that I get from my suppliers. I do not agree on killing them for the sole purpose of just mounting them. For every snake you kill for the wrong reasons, there is another 500-600 rats and mice that will flourish. GET IT! Leave em alone! And eric, you seem by your attitude to also be amongst what you call belly crawlers! P.S. Bill nice to hear from yawl!

Welcome back Bill

This response submitted by Derek on 3/9/02. ( )

Good to see you back in the forums,you've been so helpful to me[crochunter] in the chat room,and I for one love the way you cut to the quick and tell it like you see it,p.s. I tried the casting the head of that steelhead the way you told me,and sent me the diagram in my email,it turned out great I cant believe how good that alginate works,take care and see you in chat [and hopefully in here] Derek

Eric shut up!

This response submitted by Carol on 3/11/02. ( )

Shut the hell up Eric. Snakes are not the devil, in fact they are beautiful animals, which like us have feelings. They can feel pain, joy and love. If you cannot see this then you are so [expletive deleted] demented.

Joy and Love? Hot water and Alcohol?

This response submitted by Chris Harper on 3/17/02. ( )

I must disagree on the concept of snakes feeling "joy and love". I have spent a long time around live snakes and my observations lead me to much more simplistic conclusions. Snakes make their way through life identifying everthing in their path as either threatening or not. Once it has been identified as non-threatening, the snake will then use it's senses to determine whether or not it's food.

Humans tend to think that animals have the same thought processes as we do. And maybe some are a little closer than others. I know my dogs bark and run in their sleep, so I surmise that they dream. In captivity, snakes just basically get used to your presence, and that's about it.

But rattlesnakes are not capable of harboring anger, regardless of how angry they look when they are coiled and rattling. It is merely a very effective threatening display. When you are gone, the snake will return to his daily tasks of eating, mating and thermoregulating. They don't hold grudges, but if they ever identify you as a threat, it's pretty hard to change their tiny minds about it.

As for the methods that are most humane for euthanizing snakes: Occasionally captive keepers and breeders will have snakes that become infected with highly contagious, untreatable viruses. Last year, I had 2 large canebrakes that would not respond to treatment, and rather than risk the lives of the rest of my snakes, I bagged them up and put them in the freezer. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is a natural process that snakes endure to some degree anyway. The synapses in their brains slow down, and then ultimately cease to fire. I don't think there's anything more humane than that.

Personally of course, my organization would prefer that the fish and wildlife dept's of each state would regulate the numbers of snakes as they do many other species. Snakes do not exactly occur in "plagues of Biblical proportions" in the United States. Actually many more people die in hunting accidents than they do from snakebites each year.

The sad thing is that the majority of people who kill snakes generally know absolutely nothing about them. And most of what they do know tends to be myth.


Chris Harper, NREMT-P
President, SHHS


This response submitted by Randy on 3/27/02. ( )

I live is Montana and have those damn snakes everywhere, so rather then letting them getting into my chickens and killing all my chickens i kill the snakes and skin them and preserve them. But i do not just kill the snakes, like said that for every snake that you kill 300-500 mice will florish, ya i take care of those lil critters too. My .22 is my best friend.


Ignorance is a Blessing Eric

This response submitted by Jerred on 5/17/02. ( )

Eric, take the time to read up or get with a collector of snakes? You will find that some snakes can be very nasty and mean. The Devil hasn't made the snake the creature he is. I think it has a place in this world. If you do not think so, then you must be one of those people who thinks the only good snake is a dead snake? Look up the word Ignorance in Websters, you will find it means uninformed. Later)


This response submitted by cyn saunders on 5/18/02. ( )

WHY are you on this forum? If you ACTUALLY think that snakes are "The Devil" why are you here? Snakes serve a purpose in this world, be they rodent control or family pets, they have a purpose. What is yours? I get more and more frustrated with people who think that snakes are "evil".....and it is ALL because of the whole "Adam and Eve" crap.....well in that case, ALL women are evil too. Get a life Eric, you might be suprised at what you find outside of your closed mind.


This response submitted by snake lover on 6/1/02. ( )

all you reptile taxidermist suck! i hate you all ,and snakes and herps are beautiful animals .it breaks my heart to read these. i dont know if you left your feelings on the short bus today or somethin but you guys are a bunch of retards


This response submitted by Me on 6/17/02. ( )

I don't care what kind of snake it is, if it is in my yard it is going
to wind up DEAD! I had a stupid snake get in my house after a flood,
and it ate both of my birds. Guess what happened to that snake......
it wound up dead! I have a problem with a snake under my house as we
speak and I can gurantee, it is about to wind up with the other dead
snake. I have two hampsters and 2 brand new puppies and I don't want
this snake getting into my house. So, bye bye snake.

In response to "retards"

This response submitted by Chip on 6/23/02. ( )

I see your point but have you eaten a hamburger latley.You hate to see the death of reptiles but it never occurs to you that you just swallowed a big chunk of what was once a lovely chicken.Your opinions are noted but please,accept these people for what they are and don't judge them on there hobby/profession.

If One thing Noah could have left off the ark.....

This response submitted by Debby on 08/27/2002. ( MSGABELL@AOL .COM )

I hate snakes , I live in the country I worry all the time about my children playing outside.... Just this weekend I saw a snake as I was weed eating....... I dont care what kind it was..... Its Dead ! A good snake is a DEAD snake ! Snake lovers be glad I wasnt Noah's wife because my one thing rule would be " If it doesnt have legs , its not coming on the ARK !

Help getting rid of a cottonmouth?

This response submitted by Misty Dixon on 09/18/2002. ( )

I just built a little two-level ornamental pond (upper and lower level fiberglas shells). A cottonmouth has moved in and is happily eating my fish. It is strangely not aggressive, and I would as soon trap it (a Snake Guard trap is not going to be possible here) or drive it out so I can reseed the area with Snake-A-Way granules to keep it out. It is living under the fiberglas shells, and at the moment, bailing the ponds and removing the shells is not going to be practical. Any ideas? I thought about dry ice or a CO2 fire extinguisher, since CO2 sinks. Please email me if you've got a solution.

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