Red-bellied Black Snake Information

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Rick_98, May 1, 2018.

  1. Rick_98

    Rick_98 New Member

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    Hey all,
    Ever since getting into owning reptiles I've always had my eyes on Red-bellied Black Snakes I don't have any plans on getting one at this moment as I would like to gain more knowledge in keeping them etc as I could not find any information online unfortunately.
    I would appreciate any information in housing, care etc cheers :)
     
  2. Tiger Dan

    Tiger Dan New Member

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    Last week I was in Melbourne holding my first captive red-bellied black snake, they are brilliant snakes, really placid and manageable, don’t think you would have any issues in aggression with this snake in captivity.
     
  3. cris

    cris Almost Legendary

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    Unless you get bitten by one, then you have a bad day and get to tell everyone how you thought you would die and stuff. It is mostly non snake people who go on about almost dieing and other BS, but even snake people sometimes pretend to be total pussies about it.

    I have only ever poked one with my toe to get it off my path, despite some of the banter I don't actually shoot snakes.
     
  4. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rick,

    I keep RBB Snakes. The first thing I'd like to cover is that despite being known as a reasonably placid species, remember they are venomous and a bite from one can be very unpleasant, extremely painful and have severe consequences. I have a couple of friends who have had to have fingers amputated as a result of a bite and I have a nice scar on my left index finger from a bite as well.

    Before obtaining one, get to know someone who keeps vens, ask if you can observe the way they handle them and after a bit of time try and see if you can get to handle them under supervision.

    Familiarize yourself with the conditions they may be kept under in your State. I don't know about Victoria but in NSW dangerous vens have to be maintained under specific conditions, ie - locked enclosures kept inside a locked, escape proof room with visible first aid notices relating to snake bite and compression bandages that can be easily accessed.

    So, my advice is to handle them just as if they are a highly venomous species, never trust them, only handle them when absolutely necessary (eg; cleaning), always use a snake hook and tail them when removing them from their enclosure and never, ever free handle them. When I clean them I remove them from their enclosure and place them in a plastic garbage bin with a closed and sealed lid.

    They are a very easy snake to maintain and care for provided you have the right set up. I don't advocate keeping vens in front opening enclosures but RRB's are one snake that can be maintained in such a manner. I don't display my snakes, they are all kept individually in marine ply enclosures 800mm long, 600mm wide and 500mm high with a small glass observation window in the lockable lid. I have a 60W spot light at one end in the roof for heating that is connected to a thermostat set at 28deg C and a timer that is adjusted according to the time of year and relevant to the photoperiod. I use newspaper as a substrate (which is thick enough for the snake to use and get under if it desires), a wooden hide and provide 2 water bowls because RRB's seem to have a bit of a habit of depositing waste in water, so one of the bowls is too small for this to happen and provides fresh untainted water for the snake to drink.

    Being a very active snake they need to be fed far more regularly than snakes such as pythons. They grow quickly and need to be fed a decent meal of appropriate size dependant upon their age every 5/6 days. Mine are currently around 1.3metres and in summer they can go through 5 or 6 large adult mice around every 5-7 days. Because of this their enclosures have to be cleaned regularly at least once (and sometimes twice) a week.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    George.
     
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  5. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Then it must have been you I read about recently... I saw some document where a GB White was mentioned as being the recipient of a bite with severe envenomation with life changing consequences from an RBB due to mishandling.
     
  6. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it was about 16 years ago and Ray Hoser added me to the list of other professional and amateur ven handlers that it appears he was using to try and justify a reason for his barbaric practice of removing venom glands from snakes that he used for display purposes. Had a good laugh with some friends when they told me about it. He must have heard about it on the grape vine because he never correspond with me to inquire how it happened (not that I'd have told him if he did). He has no idea how it happened (it happened while removing a severe build up stuck shed over an eye but I'm not going to explain the full details here) so just like Ray, he described it as mishandling and obviously over exaggerated the consequences. I look at it as a minor hiccup in the bigger scheme of things considering the thousands of vens that I've handled throughout my life. Doesn't matter what road one travels accidents do happen. He also appeared to defame me in his book "Smuggled" regarding alleged corruption in NSW NPWS but that's another story.
     
  7. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the clarification George. Yes it appeared that there was info missing as the date of the incident was listed as "unknown." I thought that was odd.
     
  8. Rick_98

    Rick_98 New Member

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    Thanks for the information and unfortunately I don't know anyone that owns any venomous snakes hence why I came on here looking for more information, I also don't intend on free handling it strictly a display snake in a secure locked enclosure with labels.
     

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