Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Snakes slither into popularity

By CANG WEI and SONG WENWEI  (China Daily)

09:08, March 28, 2013

A woman holds a snake for sale at a pet shop in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in January. Provided to China Daily

Zhou Qian was scared out of her wits when she found a snake in her 9-year-old son's pencil box.

"I was helping him arrange his textbooks when I suddenly noticed a colorful snake," said Zhou. "Though several days have passed, I still cannot accept the fact that a snake lives with me under the same roof."

However, Gao Yuan doesn't share his family's fear of his pet, which he purchased for 100 yuan ($16).

"The feeling when you touch the snake - cold and smooth - is very unusual and funny," he said.

"It eats little, makes no noise and keeps the room clean. It's perfect."

As the weather gets warmer in China's Year of the Snake, more people are choosing snakes, which are gradually waking up from hibernation, as their pets.

Xu Feng, who runs a pet shop in Nanjing's Qinhuai district, said his sales were 30 percent higher than any previous spring since he opened the store six years ago.

"Some people believe that raising a snake this year may bring good luck."

According to Xu, raising a snake is easy, and the equipment needed is simple.

"A box, usually made of wood, a lamp and a cushion to keep the heat are the basic requirements. Colorful pet snakes are normally of tropical origin, so they need to keep warm.

"Small pet snakes eat one or two mice a week," said Xu. "Large pet snakes may eat more than 20 mice a time. Each mouse costs about 2 yuan, which is much cheaper than dog or cat food."

Zhang Jingshuo, a zoologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that although pet snakes pose little danger to their owners, raising snakes at home is still not advisable.

"Although pet snakes have been domesticated for many years, it's possible that they still carry germs that may cause cross-infection between human beings and other animals.

"Besides, some pet snakes are caught illegally in the wild," said Zhang.

"If you buy those snakes, you are encouraging the poaching of wild animals."

He said that some snakes are abandoned when their owners find that they have grown too big, which may cause the problem of alien species invasion and panic among the public.

Xu added that people should think twice before they purchase snakes.

"People need to acquire certain knowledge to take good care of snakes, including how to wash them and where to buy medicine when they get sick. In fact they are not as strong as many people think.

"Also, people must do some research before they choose a certain kind of snake, and avoid believing whatever shopkeepers tell them," said Xu.

"If they get cheated by some immoral sellers about whether the snakes are poisonous or not, the result might be even worse."

We Recommend:

China's weekly story (2013.3.9-3.15)

Painting a tattoo on body with your own style

Modern life of Chinese elderly

Young & confident: 'We want to fly'

Brave young mother in the 4th year of university

China cities put on spring style

What house can you buy with 1m yuan?

Seeking a dream wedding at Beijing Wedding Expo

Girls who live like boys, play like boys

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. High-sea training taskforce in Nansha Islands

  2. Marines conduct shooting training

  3. Cypriots protest against 'haircuts'

  4. Strong sand storm swallows Lanzhou

  5. The toughest roads to school

  6. TV on modern Chinese couple hits Africa

  7. Bodybuilding in Afghanistan

  8. Int'l Clothing & Accessories Fair held in Beijing

  9. BYD profits tumble in 2012

  10. Beijing's second oldest McDonald outlet shut

Most Popular


  1. Japan looks to board US' 'black ship'
  2. BRICS summit offers bright sunrise
  3. Western leaders learned nothing from Iraq disaster
  4. What are the fruits of Obama's Middle East visit?
  5. Home prices thwarts people's 'Chinese dream'
  6. Economic slowdown puts peaceful rise in focus

What’s happening in China

6.5-magnitude quake hits Taiwan
kills one, injures 19

  1. China to punish phony business trip officials
  2. Pollution may close observatory
  3. Li Ning hit by first annual loss since 2004 listing
  4. Credit system to rein in matchmaking agencies
  5. Govt should put Funeral Law on agenda: experts