Amazing Trip To Amami Island – My first contact with Habu (deadly poisonous snake)


The Habu center is a place where you can bring in Habu to get paid. Since they are considered vermin, the city hall recommends Amami citizens to capture them.

Mr. K explained to me that most of Amami residents have a Habu stick. I didn’t understand what he meant, at all. Why does everyone have a “Habu stick”? He said it’s like a side job. The city hall will pay you 3,000 yen per snake if it’s brought in alive.

The person in charge of the Habu center, Mr.M, let me observe the snakes up close, so I knelt down by one of the biggest meshed cages which contained a number of entangled venomous snakes. On top of it, an acrylic board was placed.

Mr.M explained to me he put it there to prevent the poison from scattering. If it gets in your eyes, you can lose your sight. It’s that deadly.

While I was observing the snakes, several of them tried to strike at me, but the mesh of the cage prevented them from succeeding. I must have been so excited that I didn’t notice my right leg was very close to the side of the cage which was not covered with an acrylic board.

When he spotted me, Mr.M excitedly shouted at me to move away from the cage immediately, so I jumped away. He said the fangs could be long enough to reach through the mesh, so they could hurt me.

The knowledge of how precarious my situation had been left me terrified.

To be continued…



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