Keeping Them Safe: The Management of Venomous Species in Captivity
Institutions housing venomous animals must consider every risk to both humans and specimina. From the construction of exhibits and holding areas to emergency procedures in case of envenomation, facilities must strive for the highest standard of safety by having a rigid compilation of requirements. Due to the absence of universal standards or regulations regarding the housing and handling of venomous species, the protocol followed by establishments is institution-specific. An institution is responsible for creating and implementing a set of nonnegotiable standards that focus on the housing of venomous species; acquisition, transport, and maintenance of antivenom; handling expectations and training; and emergency procedures in case of accidental envenomation. It is the institution’s responsibility and duty to compose a detailed plan to decrease the risk of envenomation and to minimize complications if this event should occur. This plan includes institutions outside of the housing facility; ideally a medical facility and the local center of poison control. It is of the utmost importance to maintain a strong collaboration and relationship among these institutions to avoid confusion and promote fluidity in the execution of preventative and emergency protocol.
KeywordsAnimal escape prevention Antivenom acquisition Antivenom disposal Antivenom storage caring for venomous animals Envenomation emergency procedures Envenomation prevention Exhibit and enclosure layouts Handling venomous species Housing of venomous species Management of venomous species Zoo visitor safety Zookeeper training guidelines and qualifications
- Phelps. Poisonous snakes. Littlehampton Book Services Ltd; 1981. ISBN 13: 9780713708776.Google Scholar
- Russell F. Venom snake poisoning. Scholium International, Inc.; 1983. ISBN 0-87936-015-1.Google Scholar
- Shupe S. Venomous snakes of the world: a manual for use by U.S. Amphibious Forces. Skyhorse Publishing; 2013.Google Scholar
- Weinstein S, Warrell D, Keyler D, Whote J. “Venomous” bites from non-venomous snakes: a critical analysis of risk and management of “Colubrid” snake bites. Elsevier Inc.; 2011. ISBN: 978-0-12-387732-1.Google Scholar