Tuesday, January 12, 2010

That Snake Is Poison

DELAND, Fla. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Milking snakes is a scary, dangerous job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Juicing the venom out of highly poisonous snakes is how Carl Barden at the Reptile Discovery Center in Deland, Florida, pays his bills.

Barden is in the business of wrangling deadly slitherers and extracting their venom in front of crowds, then selling the venom to labs and pharmaceutical companies who use it in AIDS research, vaccine creation, and numerous other life-saving studies.

He’s been “fascinated” by snakes since he was a boy and feels lucky to only be one of 30 people in the world sucking the poison out of them.

It’s not all snake charming though.

Barden has been bitten 11 times, once accidentally stabbing himself in the face with a snake after falling.

It wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t highly allergic to venom, which means he must take major precautions before working.

(Contact numbers available only to subscribing media or trial media users. You can request samples at the Wireless Flash web site.)
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