Snake handling for local vets

In Fiji there's not a lot of demand for veterinary services for reptiles, but our local vets at  Vet Essentials Animal Doctors Climic in Lami have been really helpful when we have needed assistance. If you're in Fiji with an animal problem, give them a call. (tel 360 2153, 
They don't have a specialist reptile vet, and many of them had no experience handling or treating snakes, so we took our scaly set in for a visit. Unfortunately Rifraf disgraced himself by biting the first vet to hold him, but thankfully vets are not phased by little bites, and no harm was done (except to Rifraf's reputation).
Here are photos of our serene matriarch, Mazikeen, who thankfully has much better manners,  introducing the vets and vet assistants to the joys of snake handling.

H and our snakes in Sunday Fiji Sun

Helen Sykes in Lami on January 6, 2018 with her pet snakes. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Snakes, a reptile feared by many Fijians, are being kept as pets in the homes of a small expatriate community, it has been revealed.

The Fiji Sun found two of the pet snake lovers in the wake of the discovery of a large Pacific Boa Constrictor in the Lovoni forests on Ovalau a few days ago.

The domesticated snakes are all Pacific Boa, a non-poisonous species that is native to Fiji.

Helen Sykes, a marine ecologist originally from England who has lived in Fiji for 21 years, keeps five healthy Pacific Boa in her house in Lami, ranging from 1.5-2.5 metres long. She vouches that they are tame and safe and pose no danger to humans.

Ms Sykes has lived with snakes for 30 years and says she finds them “cute and cuddly – even though they have bitten her a few times by mistake.

Often, her snakes coil around her neck as she watches television or reads a book.

“I don’t know what it is,” she said. “When I was a k…

The girls - Mazikeen and Constantine - nomming on mice

So a friend had a bit a mouse issue at home so he caught them using simple mouse traps. Eight mice later over a week, stuffed into zip lock bags and frozen immediately, we have some good whole food for our snakes.

Our snakes have all been eating only frozen chicken wings for about a year now, so we were ready to doa Chicken Run (get about 50 x 1 day old roosters and feed them up for 7-10 days, and mass kill and freeze..)

Any way here's a good set of pics of the girls munching them down happily, no hesitation. If anything they may have been a  bit too small to 'handle' for them ;)

Samael - head detail of large male Candoia bibroni bibroni

Recently had a show and tell at NatureFiji, and some great shots came out of it by Monal.

Here's 2nd set of Samael whom is mellow over everyone :)

Mazikeen - head detail of large female Candoia bibroni bibroni

Recently had a show and tell at NatureFiji, and some great shots came out of it by Monal.

Here's first set of Mazikeen head detail.