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Venom in My Eyes! Working with Spitting Cobras


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Hi, Frank Indiviglio here. I’m a herpetologist, zoologist, and book author, recently retired from a career spent at several zoos, aquariums, and museums, including over 20 years with the Bronx Zoo

Working with Spitting Cobras has been a fascinating, if sometimes un-nerving, experience. In addition to being able to deliver venom via biting or ejection through the air, Spitting Cobras also have the alertness and speed that is typical of nearly all the world’s 353 Elapid species. On two occasions, I’ve had to re-capture a total of 6 escaped Red Spitting Cobras (Naja pallida) – once because a man helped his little son to kick in the glass of an exhibit at the Bronx Zoo! (please see article linked below) But despite these incidents, and decades of working closely with related species, the only venom to wind up in my eyes came not from a Spitter, but rather courtesy of a species that “cannot spit” – the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Read the rest of this article here http://bit.ly/15ja2TO

Please also check out my posts on Twitter http://bitly.com/JP27Nj and Facebook http://on.fb.me/KckP1m

My Bio, with photos of animals I’ve been lucky enough to work with: http://bitly.com/LC8Lbp

Best Regards, Frank

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Where was the link to the article about the person breaking into the exhibit? I searched through the article above and could not find it...I was curious to read about what happened.

Sorry about that, here you go;

Part I http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2010/01/27/snake-escapes-recovering-cobras-and-other-snakes-in-zoos-and-homes-part-1/#.VHpFA8lDV30

Part II: http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2010/02/03/snake-escapes-recovering-cobras-and-other-snakes-in-zoos-and-homes-part-2/#.VHpE-MlDV30

Best, Frank

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