Cairns Tropical Zoo plays and integral part in life-saving research conducted by James Cook University (JCU). Each month, dedicated reptile keepers “milk” a variety of venomous species including taipans, brown snakes, black snakes and death adders.
The venom is passed on to JCU so that they can use it for a broad range of research work including blood clotting, studying the venom’s effect on the human heart and muscle cells, developing potential medicines and even learning more about the physiology of snakes!
Alex Mitchell (Featured in the photos below) is a very dedicated and passionate reptile keeper at the zoo. He maintains that there are a lot of benefits from these animals that people aren’t aware of.
During the “milking” process, each snake is encouraged to bite down on the rubber lid of a small vial while its head is massaged to yield small quantities of venom.