Larysa Romanyuk, "Old Castle"  18 January 2013 10:22  39228782 029364

These pets do not always provoke a positive reaction. Many people are afraid of them, though they have mostly seen them only on TV and maybe in the zoo. Silent and mysterious snakes are the characters of various myths and fairy tales, they invoke irrational fear and because of that they often suffer from the us, bipedal. However, the editor of the popular Internet resource Zakarpattya online Oleg Dyba sees them out in another way: without prejudice and fear. For nearly 20 years he has been quite unusually fond of reptiles.

Do not cuddle with snake

- When and how did you fondness begin?

- I got my first snake ... illegally. Now it is more or less easy to buy a reptile. But in the first half of the 90s I "quietly" brought from Kyiv a little, practically just born Boa constrictor imperator, ie imperial subspecies of the usual boa. At first he lived in a zoo corner in PADIYUN, and later, when the bar "Skalyariya" appeared, he moved there. At that time, by the way, it was probably the first boa in Uzhgorod, at least in a public institution. Besides me, there was only one person dealing with snakes in the city - herpetologist Serhiy Bayur, who later left Uzgorod.

- How many snakes have you had overall?

- Actually my own - about six species: a milk snake, a California king albino snake, a Boa constrictor, two species of tropical wood snakes, well, maybe I have forgotten something. Nowadays, unfortunately, I do not have enough time to spend on pets, so I have only one boa and two iguanas. And also very common red-lined turtles and a soft-shelled turtle.


If journalism did not take so much time and efforts, I would surely have devoted myself to the wildlife. Maybe I would have created a mini-zoo. Then again, I have two dogs at home, an aquarium, colored Japanese kois and goldfish in the lake, once I had cats too.

In our student years, my wife and I lived in the UzhNU dorm No. 4, and even there we kept a dog nicknamed Vaska. He was so clever and close friend of ours that after he was gone we did not want to take another pet for a long time. At home, in a terrarium I even kept giant spiders and emperor scorpions. In fact, I love all animals. But I can not convert the house, where not only adults but also three children live, into a zoo.


- Have you ever kept poisonous snakes?

- Due to a clear understanding of the habits and behavior of reptiles I have never been tempted to keep poisonous snakes. It is dangerous, and you have no right to expose other people to danger. After all, there are many interesting and beautiful non-poisonous reptiles. For example, I had perfectly safe milk snakes, their red, black and white striped coloration mimics the extremely venomous coral cobra.

Once, one of them crawled out of the terrarium in the "Aquarium". These snakes are small, up to 30 cm, and for a few hours we could not find the fugitive. Finally, I sat down and thought, "Lord, help me find him. It is not his fault, but mine. And because of MY carelessness the animal may die." And at this very moment, with my poor eyesight I saw a few meters away a tiny black head the size of a little fingernail showing from behind the cladding on the wall at floor level. Moreover, when I approached to take him, he did not even try to flee.

- Is it costly to keep reptiles?

- The costs are minimal. You need a container for the animal - a terrarium, proper soil, the minimum equipment to maintain the required temperature and humidity. The food is mostly laboratory mice or rats which are freely available. When I started keeping reptiles, it was more difficult, and I had to prepare forage for my pets myself. At that time, I had laboratory rodents, which were propagating. The smaller the size of the snake, the more it has to eat, and vice versa. Anushka could eat a whole chicken a month, I have not offered her rabbits because I pity them (laughing - Author). The digestion alone can take two weeks. So, large snakes after they eat live long time without food. Reptiles drink water, but not milk, as many people believe.

Snakebuster (DYba)

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