Snake Tongs! Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by ViperReptiles, Nov 3, 2015.

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  1. ViperReptiles

    ViperReptiles Not so new Member

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    Now I've heard a lot of mixed thoughts on snake tongs. Some people think that they offer too much risk to injuring the snake, whereas others say they are completely fine! Let me know what you think, and why! :)
     
  2. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    @Hender135, IMO as a hobbyist i cannot see the need for tongs unless you are collecting Vens, and even then i think there is too much danger of harming the snake, 1 or 2 hooks are all you really need, we see tooooooo often on TV all the would be's running around in the bush "TONGS" flailing wildly in front of them only to find some poor little colubrid to crush between the jaws of those mighty tongs, some professional snake relocators use them sparingly and mostly because they might only have the 1 chance to remove the snake from a situation of danger. Tongs :( Hooks :) hope that helps. :) ......................Ron
     
  3. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Or do you mean tongs for feeding?
     
  4. alexbee

    alexbee Not so new Member

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    Snake tongs are not necessary.. A hook and bag id all you need for relocating
     
  5. ViperReptiles

    ViperReptiles Not so new Member

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    Yeah I prefer using hooks, the reason I asked is because I've never tried using tongs and I have heard mixed feelings about them. So I wanted to see if they're worth the money of if I should stick with my trusty hook!
     
  6. HiramAbiff

    HiramAbiff Not so new Member

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    They are awesome.....if you want to pick up rubbish beside the highway.
    Seriously though, when I see a relocator or herper pull them out for Australian snakes it makes me lose a hell of a lot of respect for them.

    If you can't handle them with a hook and bag you shouldn't be touching vens....just my opinion.
     
  7. Rob

    Rob Super Moderator Staff Member

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    /thread
     
  8. baker

    baker Well-Known Member

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    The risk that tongs have towards the snake is all dependent on the set of tongs being used and the skill of the person using them.
    Pilstrom tongs and the others like them should not ever be used to handle snakes. They offer no protection to the snake and can easily cause severe damage to the snake. Now just because those tongs are horrible does not mean that all are. The tongs produced by raptor snake equipment, and even gentle giants are for the most part perfectly safe to use. They have been designed in a way to offer as much protection as possible for the snake.
    While the design of the tongs is important, the skill of the person using them is key for the safety of the snake. Even with those well designed tongs, if the snake if too far back or forwards in the tong they can still be damaged through pinching or crushing.
    Tongs though are just a tool, same as a snake hook or pinner. Use the tool incorrectly and you can damage or kill the snake. Personally I do not see the need for the massive hate everyone has for tongs (I used to be the same). Pinners and even hooks used wrong can do the exact same sort of crushing damage as tongs but people are not chastised for using them.
    For the hobbyist and general keeper at home, tongs are completely pointless and should never be used. Tongs are potentially useful for elapid keepers, but only in extreme situations. The only people who should have tongs are relocators. The thought that they may never be need for a relocation job is naive. You could be the best handler in the world, however there are situations where you cannot safely catch the snake any other way.
    Now before I get abused about ‘advocating’ the use of tongs, I am not. 99.5% of the time a snake hook and bag are all that are needed and should be used for relocations. That other 0.5% of the time though, different tools such as tongs maybe required to safely retrieve the snake. Part of being experienced is knowing when and when not to use the different methods and tools available.
    Remember tongs are just a tool, it all depends on how and who uses them.

    Cheers, Cameron.
     
  9. Wallo

    Wallo Active Member

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    Gentle Giants still harm snakes - I wouldnt use them
    you can get tongs with a leather strap which if you need to use tongs are the best for the health of the snake
     
  10. Firepac

    Firepac Subscriber Subscriber

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    As a relocater I do carry a pair of tongs but have only had the need to use them on 2 or 3 occasions in the last 10 years. Having said that I would use any equipment or technique at my disposal that ensures my safety, the safety of others around me and the safety of the snake.
     
  11. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    All tongs can and will harm snakes it dosnt matter what sort or how soft they are. If a large elapid is grabbed and it goes mental, which would be very common with most elapids, it will harm its self simply by thrashing around. Any one who needs a pair of tongs to pick up a snake should not be doing it in the first place.
     
  12. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Baker in that 99.5% of the time tongs aren't needed but in some situations they may be helpful and safer to use for both the person and the snake. The only ones I would ever use are the version raptor makes. All of the others can definitely do damage to a snake, even the gentle giants. Raptors can damage a snake if used incorrectly.<br><br>If you are grabbing a large elapid forcefully enough for it to begin thrashing around you are using tongs incorrectly and so shouldn't be using them at all. They should only be used as a restraint, not for picking up and carrying a snake.
     
  13. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    Grab and restrain any large, or small, wild elapid with a pair of tongs and it will thrash around and risk injury no matter how you grab it. Tongs should never be used to catch a snake no matter what the situation. I have caught snakes in just about ever situation you could think of over the years and have never come close to even thinking of using tongs. A jigger and a hoop bag is all you need.
     
  14. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    I must only encounter extremely docile wild elapids then.

    Before the raptors I was totally against tongs myself but there were situations where I thought they could be useful and a safer way to deal with the situation.

    By jigger do you mean old style head pinning tool?
     
  15. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    A jigger is a snake hook, not a pinning stick. There is no need to pin a snakes head unless it has been injured and needs to be looked at. As said any one that needs a pair of tongs to pick up a snake should not be catching snakes in the first place. All tongs do is add risk to the snake being injured and the main point of relocating snakes is to safely relocate them away from harm, not risk harming them in the process.
     
  16. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    In actually it is another term for a pinning stick TB.

    George
     
  17. HiramAbiff

    HiramAbiff Not so new Member

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    I've heard people refer to "jigger" in reference to both hooks and pinners, furthermore I've heard hook/pinning tool combinations be called "jiggers" too.
     
  18. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    They may now but I think you'll find that the term "jigger" was around long before hooks were even thought of. It actually goes back to the day's of the old forked stick, probably way before your time.

    Cheers.
     
  19. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Agreed George I associate the word jigger with pinning tools but I guess I'm a bit old school.
    I do know that these days the term gets used for hooks as well so I was just after clarification on context.
    Unless you were harvesting venom I can't think of another use for a pinner although at one stage they were quite popular.

    i don't actually own a pair of tongs but if I did it would only be a raptor style tong. I've got 30 odd hooks of varying styles but I really only use 2 of them.

    i don't recommend that people use tongs but I am open to the idea that if they are used correctly they can be safe for both the snake and the handler. Bottom line if you don't know what you are doing with them don't use them because used incorrectly you will harm a snake.
     
  20. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    Well talking old school, for over 25 years myself and every one I know in the hobby from back then has always called a snake hook a jigger, and a pinning stick has always been just that. Some jiggers had a pinner at the other end but were still called jiggers or a snake hook. Yeah I remember the forked stick trick, I made one and lucky I got better educated before I ever used it.
     
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