For some people, giant and dangerous snakes like pythons are reptiles to be feared. But Mohammed Nassri, a 20-years-old Palestinian living in the West Bank, has successfully tamed some of the world's most dangerous snakes and make a decent living from them.
A green anaconda, corn snakes, an Indian cobra, Burmese python, and tens of other venomous and non-venomous snakes found a harbor at his home.
All of them are kept inside a vast room built outside of his house. He provides them with suitable food and heat necessary for their growth.
"When I was only 12 years old, I bought my first small snake. It was a 30-cm corn snake which cost me 50 U.S. dollars from the savings I have been collecting for several months," the young man told Xinhua, while he was wrapping the yellow snake on his shoulders.
Back then, he said, he did not know how to take care of the snakes. So he surfed the Internet for answers.
"I watched dozens of films about reptiles, snakes, and pythons and how we can deal with them without putting ourselves in dangerous situations," he recalled.
Nassri's hard work paid off as his "little friend" grew bigger, reaching 70 cm. But then it died, leaving Nassri heartbroken and sad.
"I felt that I lost one of my best friends. I cried a lot, but I decided to buy another one raise it longer and bigger than my first corn snake," he recalled.
Nassri spent a whole year saving enough move to buy a non-venomous Burmese python. It was 60-cm long, but with good food and conditions, it grew to be as long as four meters.
"I sold it for 1,300 U.S. dollars and I made some hundreds of dollars when I was 15 years old. It was a great emotion for me and I was so proud of myself," he said.
It was when Nassri realized that he could turn his hobby into a business. Initially, he bought chicken snakes, whom he raised for months before selling them and making some 5,000 dollars.
Then, in order to be "unique and special," he decided to buy the heaviest and most dangerous snakes, including anaconda python, rock python, and reticulated python. Later, he also purchased the Indian cobra and tens of other snakes.
"Currently, I possess ten big snakes, as well as dozens of small snakes and I managed to tame all of them," he said.
To feed them, the young man, who is now a student of business administration at Birzeit University, established a small farm, where he raises rats and rabbits that are being fed to the reptiles.
Yet, Nassri's dream does not stop at that. Now he is planning to raise venomous snakes and use their venom for medical purposes, especially to develop anti-snake vaccines.
His dreams, however, collide with the daily Palestinian reality. There are no scientific laboratories that would extract antibodies from snake venom.
"If we have techniques to extract the snake venom, we will sell each gram of it for 4,000 dollars at least," he said, as he flashed his smile.
After ten years from now, he aspires to establish his own farm that would carry his name, and that would contain all sorts of unique animals and reptiles. He is also hoping this place will end up becoming a tourist attraction.
Published : October 05, 2021