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Australian Reptile Park Perform Record Venomous Snake Milking

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 16, 2020 12:30 pm

snake milk off ARP

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Reptile keepers at the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia has celebrated world snake day, which is celebrated on July 16th each year, with a first. They milked 5 of their most venomous snakes at one time.

The Australian Reptile Park milk the venom of these snakes to produce antivenom which is used to save lives in the case of snake bite. In Australia this venom will be used as many as 300 times a year to save the life of someone who is bitten by a snake.

The staff taking part in the ‘Milk Off’ were General Manager Tim Faulkner, Head of Reptiles Daniel Rumsey, Venom Supervisor Zac Bower, and Reptile Keepers Jake Meney and Brandon Gifford.

These staff are expert venomous snake handlers allowing them to manage five of Australia’s most venomous species. They milked a death adder, tiger snake, eastern brown snake, king brown snake and the coastal taipan.

Staff chose these 5 species as they represent the 5 types of snake which are milked at the Australian Reptile Park to create antivenom. These varieties are the taipans, brown snakes, tiger snakes, death adders and black snakes.

The most interesting of these is the black snake as the type milked at the Australian Reptile Park is the king brown snake which despite their name is a member of the black snake family.

snake milk off

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Head of Reptiles, Daniel Rumsey said, “Snakes are amazing reptiles, we love nothing more than raising awareness that they’re not the villain’s people can stereotype them to be. We are known world-wide for our incredibly venomous snakes, and what better day to celebrate them?!”

“It was truly an amazing moment to get out there with all the boys and do what we do best, milk snakes! Not only was it a great experience to compare the venoms from each snake, it’s done with a great purpose as the venom will be made into antivenom and eventually go towards saving someone’s life one day!,” finished Dan.

The production of anti-venom is important for the safety of humans. Prior to the development of anti-venom for death adder bites up to 60% of their bites would be fatal.

Visitors at the Australian Reptile Park can meet the venomous snakes used for milking at the Lost World of Reptiles or get an insight in to the milking program on a behind the scenes tour.

Learn more about the Australian Reptile Park on their website – Australian Reptile Park

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