From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SERPENTARIUM — nursery of the snakes used for receiving snake poison.

The first-ever S. is created in San Paulo (Brazil) in 1899. Then S. of willows other countries were organized: Australia, India, Kenya, USA, Republic of South Africa. In the USSR the first S. was organized in Uzbekistan in 1934. Later S. were created in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and also in Moscow. Serpentariums of Azerbaijan and Central Asia contain 5 species of venomous snakes (the Central Asian cobra, a gyurza, Eph, a steppe viper and a shchitomordnik), in the Moscow S. — one look (an ordinary viper).

Snakes (see) are held or in open open-air cages with special shelters, or in cells of the different sizes, in the winter at t 21 — 37 °, in the summer — at a temperature close to outside. Special diets taking into account biol are developed for the snakes who are contained in S. features of each look. Average life expectancy of a gyurza in bondage of 8,8 months, cobras much longer.

From the same snakes poison can be taken for a long time and repeatedly (e.g., from a cobra to 30 times). Poison is taken 1 time in

3 — 4 weeks. The amount of the received snake poison depends on a species, the size and a condition of snakes. On average a one-time exit of poison from one cobra reaches 250 mg (in the dried-up look). The traditional way «milkings» — massage of poisonous glands or stimulation by small electric current. Poison is collected in glass glasses or byuksa and dried up. The dried-up poison is stored in the soldered glass ampoules in the refrigerator. The snake poison received thus is used for preparation of antiserums, effective against stings of snakes, and also pharmaceuticals (see. Snake poison ).

Bibliography: Bogdanov O. P. Ecology of reptiles of Central Asia, page 192, Tashkent, 1965; Life of animals, Amphibia, reptiles, under the editorship of A. G. Bannikov, t. 4, p. 2, page 320, M., 1969; Keeping of venomous snakes of Central Asia in bondage, under the editorship of G. S. Sultanov, Tashkent, 1972, bibliogr.; Deoras P. J. Snakes of India, New Delhi, 1978; Skinner H. A. Snakes and us, An introduction to East African herpetology, Nairobi a. o., 1973

V. F. Orlova.