|This African Chameleon, variety unknown, is winking her/his left eye for the photo! Neither of us hesitated to handle this non-poisonous creature.Check out the funny little mouth!|
|These harmless (to humans) reptiles have no teeth using a very fast tongue to grasp their prey, usually insects.|
|Chameleon on my leg. Its legs were sticky grasping at the fabric of my pants.|
Starting out with chameleons was probably a good idea on the part of the handlers as an excellent segue to prepare everyone for the scarier reptiles, semi-poisonous snakes, and the renowned python, all of which we handled (except I avoided the python which required raising one arm up to hold it around one’s neck and my bad shoulder couldn’t handle it at this point.
|This is a grass snake, non-poisonous, slithering on Tom’s arm.|
|This semi-poisonous snake paralyzes its prey. If they bite a human, the area of the bite will feel numb for a few hours but poses no systemic risk. We were told to keep the head away from us while handling it. This is me holding it, as Tom took the photo.|
|Tom wound it around his hands, keeping the mouth at a distance.|
|For a small snake, this snake has a large head.|
|This is me holding the semi-poisonous snake, again keeping its mouth out of range for a potential non-life-threatening bite.|
Here’s a link to the 5 deadliest snakes in Kenya. Yikes! I’m glad we didn’t look at this site before going on safari! Gee, when we were on a safari often “checking the tire pressure,” didn’t assume for a minute that we didn’t have to check the grass for snakes!
Tom was particularly surprised by the weight of even the smaller snakes, most likely due to their muscular strength.
The snakes were kept in cloth bags to which they were returned after each was presented. The handlers seemed knowledgeable and very concerned for our safety, although there were few risks, other than the wild flailing of the squeamish guest’s arms.
|This python posed no risk due to its small size. As it matured, growing in size, it would gain its deadly strength to squeeze the life out of its unfortunate victims.|
|I love this look on Tom’s face as he’s learning how to handle the python. Like an infant, the python’s head must be held up to avoid injuring it.|
|At last! He’s got python handling figured out! He couldn’t have looked more pleased!|
|Close up of the python Tom handled.|