Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baby Eats Snake

Coin-marked Snake
Or at least gave it a good try...

Toddler chews head off snake
A sleepy snake came to a rather untimely end after having its head half chewed off by a fearless toddler in an Arab town in northern Israel, the child's family told AFP on Friday.

Thirteen-month-old Imad Aleeyan, who has six teeth, was found chewing on the head of the 30-centimetre snake by his mother, who alerted the neighbourhood with her screams.

"I was making his milk and I looked over and saw he had a snake in his mouth," said his mother, Ghadir Aleeyan, who lives in the town of Shefa'Amr, 15 kilometres (9 miles) east of the port city of Haifa. "I started to scream. I couldn't believe my eyes," she told AFP. "I nearly died of fright."
More than a mouthful

A neighbour who had rushed to see what was going on yanked the half-dead reptile out of the boys mouth and killed it, she said. "When he pulled it out, Imad started crying," she said, describing the snake's head as "very badly chewed" when it emerged from the boys mouth.
OK, let's acknowledge from the outset that kids just aren't civilized yet by the time the only have six teeth.  Still, that's a pretty tough little bugger to grab a snake and start chewing on it.  Sounds like he's beyond milk, Mom. You better get a little more red meat into his diet before he starts chewing on the next door neighbors.  Fortunately, the kid chose a non-poisonous snake to nosh on.
Dr Boaz Shacham, an expert on amphibians and reptiles, told AFP that from looking at images of the smashed-up serpent online, it appeared to be a coin-marked snake (Hemorrhois nummifer), a non-venomous species which resembles a viper. Such snakes grow up to 1.3 metres in length, he said, suggesting it was a "very young" specimen.

"It probably didn't bite the child because of the cold," said Shacham who is the head of the herpetology collection at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
There's nothing wrong with eating a little snake.  We had rattlesnake a few times back in California and while it's nothing special (tastes like chicken, as the cliche goes), it's at least nutritious.  I wonder if snake is a clean "haraam" (forbidden) food item under Islam?  A little research suggests it is...

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