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Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders

In connection with yesterday's comments on my post of Georgetown, here's a composite picture from slides shot in the Snake Temple in 1968.

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Too many beforehand could be dangerous Stumps; you need to be careful where you step! The vipers' bite is said not to be lethal to a healthy adult, but extremely painful, and damaging to the tissues around the bite. At the time of our visit, a few snakes had been de-venomed, and possibly de-fanged, so they could be draped around visitors' necks for photos in the temple's backyard. My three young children and I (but not my wife, who feared almost nothing apart from snakes, which she couldn't even look at in books or on TV, and therefore wasn't present) jumped at the chance to be pictured in this way. Wikipedia says all the snakes in the temple have been de-venomed, but that's certainly not the impression given when we visited, or indeed in some of today's websites. After all, the temple is said to attract snakes from the wild and I'm sure they don't routinely check-in for de-venoming. The incense and ample food-supply are believed by some to increase the snakes' natural sluggishness. At any rate, it seems no record exists of any visitor having been bitten.
 

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Ports Docks And Harbours
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Ian Hourston
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