Is it safe to handle a snake with bare hands?

There are many movies that you may watch where a person will simply grab a snake with their bare hands, either to snap its neck to kill it or to simply grip and control it. They make it look so easy in the movies, maybe inspiring you to believe that it is perfectly fine for you to be able to grab a snake in this way.



It looks safe how they do it. You never see them having issues once they grab a snake, so this may make you wonder if it is safe to handle a snake with your bare hands?

Before answering this question directly related to the snake, it is important to address this question in the bigger scheme of things. You should never try to handle any wild animal with your bare hands. They are wild for a reason, which means that once they are gripped they will do anything that they can to try to free themselves. This can mean biting, scratching, or using other means that could injure you in some way. It simply is not safe to grab a wild animal with your bare hands!

In the case of the snake you may look at this and say that the concerns are different because the snake cannot scratch or claw you. It doesn’t have hands or feet so it is incapable of doing this, yet that does not mean that it is unable of causing you harm.

That is as far from the truth as it gets. A snake has very sharp teeth, some of which even contain venom in the salivary glands of their mouth, which can cause you injury. If a snake were to bite you, even if it was not poisonous, it would inject you with that saliva which can be hazardous to you. Snakes carry a large number of diseases and bacteria that would get into your hand through the snake’s bite. This can cause you to become sick, which would be unnecessary if you were taking the proper precautions.

This is really where your primary concern is at. You simply do not want to take the risk of a snake biting you and infecting you with some kind of bacteria. While the number of venomous snakes are small, every snake carries some kind of bacteria in its mouth. If you are bitten you are sure to contract whatever pathogens the snake may have.

It is not just in the bite where you have to be concerned. The outside scales of a snake can also have bacteria lodged in them. If you touch the snake you take the risk of having the bacteria pass on to your skin and become absorbed through your hands. It also can get into your eyes or mouth which can cause you illness.

The truth of the matter is that taking a very small precaution like wearing gloves is really not that big of a deal. You need to be smart when dealing with any kind of wild animal, even if that wild animal is a snake.

Your health is a serious issue and so you need to do all that you can to be able to protect yourself from injury or disease. While some may consider it to be macho to try to grab a snake using their bare hands, the long-term risks that you are subjecting yourself to just don’t make sense. You want to look out for yourself and make sure that you can live a long life and so taking a foolish risk like this just doesn’t make sense.

For more information about Is it safe to handle a snake with bare hands, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page. You can also read What should I do with a snake after I catch it?