This is not for the faint of heart! Not even for the masses, so if you are at all squemish….do not read this post!
Not long ago, I mentioned that I had a new -Grand-snake. I know, I know…..who has Grand-snakes? Well, I do! My kids have all grown up with little creatures of all kinds. We’ve had spiders, snakes, tarantulas, skunks, all kinds of dogs, cats, frogs, you name it, and I’ll bet we’ve had at least one.
Now that everyone is grown up, and some of my kids have kids of their own, the fun continues. Even my son Chris, who isn’t married, and doesn’t have any kids…..has creatures. Mostly snakes, no more spiders, but usually snakes. Chris recently bought a Blood Python at the Reptile Show the first of August. As soon as he got it home he thought something was wrong. One day went into the next, he tried calling the breeder’s, but to no avail. Three weeks later, Chris again mentioned the snake was acting strangely, and he was certain something was wrong, and a few days later it took its last breath!
Immediately the snake went into the freezer while Chris researched what could be wrong. Without any luck, he resigned himself to the fact that he had a snake die on his watch. Something that has never happened. Many people have found snakes over the years, and brought them to Chris. He has always been able to care for them, and get them healthy again. But this time was different, and he felt terrible.
As we talked about the possible causes, and what he might have done differently, he mentioned that he’d love to save the snake-skin. After calling all around, he wasn’t able to find anyone that wanted to skin a baby snake.
This made me turn to YouTube for the information.
After watching a YouTube video on skinning and tanning snakes, I volunteered his sister, and myself for the job! I just couldn’t wait to get into the operating room!
These pictures are of the skinning, and tanning.
We started by cutting down the underbelly of the snake.
After trying to save the head and tail we decided that it wasn’t going to be possible.
Once we were able to separate the body of the snake from the skin it was smooth sailing...so to speak.
We then scraped the edges of both sides to remove any fatty tissue. This will rot and ruin the skin if not removed before the tanning process.
After everything had been removed from the skin, we stretched and rolled very carefully. It’s so amazing how tough the skin is and at the same time how delicate it is.
One might say this is a two-man job because of the care that has to be taken.
After it is rolled onto a stick, we put it into a 50/50 solution of Alcohol and Glycerin. It will stay in a sealed jar from one to two weeks while it cures or tans. Shaking it gently so the solution doesn’t separate.
I’ll be back to let you know how it turned out, but so far everything looks great and it all went as planned!
Thanks for putting up with my strange sense of humor, dark at it might be. I told you artists were a little crazy!