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Serra Grande Research Center, dedicated to captive breeding of the last coastal Atlantic Bushmasters is located between Ilhéus and Itacaré, Bahia State - Northeastern Brazil. A four hectar area, 150 meters (aprox. 500') above sea level and six kilometers (aprox. 4 miles) from the coast, in prime Lachesis territory.The area where the snakes are kept is surrounded by a scape-proof wall 3 meters (10') high, also built to resist wild fires.
We breed our own mice (Swiss, Wistar and Balbick C47) in order to keep the parasite load of the snakes under control. A large building houses rooms designed specifically for reproduction, incubation, isolation, mice breeding, intensive care and a little office. Being low-tech helped us to observe and comprehend the natural behavior of the genus, which, in turn, along with a lot of hard work and persistence, is the main reason of our unique success in breeding this magnificent species.
In some of the papers listed in "Links and Downloads", specially in the "A very special need" section of "Dialogues on the Tao of Lachesis", we strongly emphasize that our greatest concern is to avoid handling the neck region of this extremely sensitive animal. Free handling techniques are not be recommended for they are not safe and should only be attempted by experienced handlers.The ability to predict the animal's intentions by reading its body language is a must to anyone trying these techniques. Tongue flicking rate, for instance, will tell you what the mood is at any given moment: curiosity (high flicking rate) or anxiety / pre-strike (low flicking rate).
Please refer to "Dialogues on the Tao of Lachesis" for detailed deworming and deparasitation techniques for both mice and snakes.
We are now in desperate need of funding to go on mantaining and improving what we've already achieved. Please consider a donation, which should be sent directly or via Western Union to:
Rodrigo Cançado Gonçalves de Souza
Banco do Brasil
Agency: 3192-5 (Ilhéus)
Account number: 16526-3