Snake Hook Vs Snake Tong: What is the safer choice to grab a snake

If you are a reptile enthusiast, keeper or remover you will need tools. Your most essential snake tools are going to be your handling equipment. Generally, you will require either a snake hook or snake tong and a closed snake box or bag to put these danger noodles in. In this article, we are going to cover what these tools are best used for and your safest option depending on your expertise and the kind of snake you are handling. 

Before we get started, we’d like to remind you that snakes are wild reptiles that need to be treated with respect. Always be safe by participating in a required training program and using the appropriate equipment when handling snakes. Do not aggravate snakes or their place of natural habitat. Prepare yourself for handling venomous species with care and keep children away. Never underestimate a venomous bite and seek immediate medical attention if required.
If you would like to know more information regrding temperament and behaviour about snakes and other reptiles in general,we recommend checking this guide to reptiles out.

What is a snake hook?

A snake hook is an elongated stick with a hook attached at the end. These are primarily used by expert snake wranglers who are seasoned in dealing with dangerous reptiles that like to get away. 

Additionally, they can be used for larger, non-venomous snakes like boas and pythons. The longer snake hooks allow us to lift the snake at one-third of its body gently. If we were to describe the kind of person this is best suited towards, think Jay from Prehistoric Pets mixed with a healthy dose of Bear Grylls. 

We recommend using this if you are a seasoned snake duke or duchess at your own risk. 

While this tool is useful for guiding non-venomous snakes towards their nests or safety bags/buckets, it is not appropriate for handling venomous snakes that habitually strike.  

If you would like to read more about how to use a snake hook, PetWave has a detailed post about how to make the best out of your snake hook.

What is a snake tong? 

While this may commonly be mistaken for snake flip-flops, let’s not muck about here. Snake tongs are strong and versatile snake holders that arrest the movement of the snake's body.  

They offer an enhanced layer of safety by allowing you to distance the snake from any humans while giving you control over their movement.  

The smaller versions of snake tongs (snake forceps) can be used to handle smaller mammals such as rodents and serve as the perfect reptile feeding tool. This helps avoid any hand biting when the snake is offered food in its tank. 

These are ideal for novice snake handlers and removalists. We highly recommend using these when you have come across a snake that is venomous. Another recommendation is to keep from holding on to the snake for too long with the tongs.This hold often crushes the snake's ribs if they are put under pressure. When using the tongs, please ensure that you are not hurting the snake as it is an actionable offence in Australia (“Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986” Sections 9 (1) a and 9 (1) c). 

What is the safest snake handling equipment? 

This answer will depend on: 

  • The species and size of snake you are handling
  • Your experience with snakes 
  • Whether or not it is a wild snake or a snake bred in captivity (with its venom removed or not)

On some occasions, a happy balance of both these snake wrangling tools will help do the trick. We also recommend purchasing one of the snake head pinning tools to help you with keeping the snake steady.

For longer snakes (especially venomous ones), experts recommend using two large snake hooks so as to keep them away from your body. 

We do not recommend using snake tongs or hooks if you are inexperienced with handling snakes. This can cause harm to not only yourself but the snake as well. When handling snakes always maintain a calm and gentle demeanour as this will reflect in the behaviour of the snake. Unnecessary sounds and movements will, pun intended, rattle the snake and cause them to strike.

Where can I get high-quality snake wrangling equipment?

At PetWave, we pride ourselves on having a plethora of high-grade snake handling equipment. In addition, we have several options for frozen pet food, live insects and bugs. Check out our website for more information or contact us for any large order requirements.

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