Snake Bite at Petting Zoo. But NO First Aid given?!

January 11, 2008

This was forwarded to my email account. Must read for you zoo-goers. Gerry

All who have kids, pls. read email from a fellow parent in my son’s school and forward to others to make sure this place improves their facilities :

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Anna Katrina G. Roa <>
Date: Jan 7, 2008 9:52 PM
Subject: [DLSZPA2015] Warning: Arc of Avilon Zoo
To: Ricky , Tony, Lara

My Family and I visited the new Arc of Avilon (AoA)
Zoo located at Frontera Verde near Tiendesitas in Pasig last
January 5, 2008. The highlight of the said zoo is they allow people
especially kids to touch their animals like orangutans, parrots, eagles,
rabbits, tortoises and snakes.

And when you allow your kids to touch these animals, you trust that these animals are harmless and are trained not to hurt its

Unfortunately, my 2nd daughter was bitten by an Albino King Snake. Her finger was bloodied so I quickly asked where the
clinic was located. I saw a sign that read Hospital/Quarantine, I quickly
opened the door but found nothing inside but some cages and two people talking. I ask(ed) if there was a doctor there and they said none. Then the king snake handler came over and directed us to follow him. I thought  we would be brought to a clinic. To my dismay, we were brought to a dirty pantry full of flies. And the handler administered Betadine to my daughter’s finger, which was stored in a soy sauce gallon container. A park with no clinic, no doctor and no medicine.

I took my daughter to the hospital, and upon reaching the hospital the
first question was what kind of snake bit my daughter. I told them it was an Albino King Snake. They were not sure whether
the king snake was a venomous or a non-venomous snake. They said they had to consult an expert about this. After awhile, Thank God that
the king snake was a non-venomous one. But the doctors wanted to be sure so they gave my daughter an anti-tetanus drug and asked her to take anti-biotics for seven days.

After reaching home, I texted both Jake and Tina Gaw
(owners of AoA) that the doctor asked us to observe my daughters
condition. I also told them that I am going to write about this horrible
experience. Tina texted back and said: “Jerry, if thats how bad you
feel, I respect your personal feelings concerning this incident. I wish
she (my daughter) could have been more careful in handling the snake
or other pets as well  especially since this one is exotic. Even tame ones, rabbit, tortoise, mouse, pig bite when they felt hurt or frighten when not properly handled. And its really sad when you felt it became a horrible issue.”

Now it’s my daughter’s fault to be bitten by the snake? AoA never
bothered to offer their help and now they blame my daughter for the
incident. That was a very insensitive remark by Tina. I don’t think
the snake was hurt or frightened, they were tired and irritated because
they were being used to entertain people.

Exotic you say? Why allow them to be touched by
people? Yes, I agree that animals bite when they felt hurt or frightened,
but let me remind the management of AoA that most of your audience are children, I even saw some as young as two years old. They will just
touch and play with the animals without knowing whether they’re hurting them or not. It is AoA’s responsibility to make sure that none of their  animals be hurt or frightened so that biting won’t happen.

And since accidents happen, how come Arc of Avilon doesn’t even have a clinic to at least administer some first-aid solution. What if the
eagles decided to peck the visitors, or use their big claws to attack
the visitors. Donkey or horse suddenly kicking.  And snakes biting.
There shoud be a doctor, a clinic and first-aid kit to address this kind
of unfortunate incidents.

Arc of Avilon should not allow people to touch a snake that bites plus
they should have expert handlers to assist its visitors. All the Arc of
Avilon management can say is that the snake is a  non-venomous one. No other help was offered, and then they will blame the visitors for
mishandling the animals.

Am I overacting? I don’t think so. What are the chances that you will
get bitten by a snake in the metropolis? Worst in a theme park like Arc
of Avilon. As a parent, will you take it sitting down? Will you just
take their word for it that it’s non-venomous? Remember, its a
snake-bite. Let this be a warning to all my readers who are planning
to visit Arc of Avilon at Tiendesitas or any other zoo for that matter.

Let my story be a lesson to all. You can ask your kids to look but as
much as possible DO NOT TOUCH. Better yet, DO NOT VISIT the Arc of  Avilon totally, until they improve their facilities.
Never again will we go to the Arc of Avilon.

Thank you and more power. God Bless us all!

Jerry Liao

Cacay Moras
PR & Events Manager


14 Responses to “Snake Bite at Petting Zoo. But NO First Aid given?!”

  1. Laura Bradley Says:

    I would just like to say that no place is allowed to let public handle venomous snake, I have an albino king snake and yes they do bite, they can be a skittish species but no harm is done once a bite has been administered.

    I do agree however that they should have a first aider.

    On the point of it being your daughters fault is really a 50/50 subject, the snake should not have been working all day and they should have had several snakes being used.
    But i also agree that yes, anything can bite you, exotic animals also include hamsters and chinchillas, if one had bitten your daughter would you over react like with the snake?
    If you do not want your daughter being bitten, do not take her to places that involve animals.
    I have been bitten by many a type of animals, from exotics to common goats at a petting zoo.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that you do not truely tame exotic animals, snakes for instance get very scared if the person who is handling them is worried or frightened themselves.
    Snakes are amazing creatures and once you yourself are comfotable with them then they are comfortable with you.

    I have 3 snakes, /two are of a tempermental type but because i am un afraid of them, they not to be afraid of me.
    I am also at college studying a National Diploma in animal management and we have some extremely nervous snakes due to them being mistreated by previous owners, there is only a couple in my class actually experienced with snakes so i have the joy of getting them out, with confidence snakes should not bite (unless hungry, shedding, just finished shedding, or is gravid(pregnant))

    Though, please note that i am not blaming your daughter for the incident but more trying to explain how out of proportion you have made this.

    Plus, i’d be worried about the hospital that didnt even know that the snake is not poisonous, you cannot handle dangerous snakes in zoos, whether they are venomous or or large constrictors like reticulated pythons.

    I just beg you to please try to understand thing better and never just blame the place that owned the animal.

    I thank you for reading this if you or anybody does and I beg you to try and learn more about exotic animals, they are amazing specialist animals that can be a wonderful pet!

    Yours sincerely

    Laura Bradley xx

  2. justintherunner Says:

    Man, you need to get a grip. You took a risk when you took your kid to a petting zoo with exotic wild animals. Wild animals never become truly tame. Your daughter got bit by a king snake, it really isn’t a big deal. That is always the risk on e takes when handling wild animals. If it is such a concern to you, you should either become a little more educated about the animals you are going to be coming in contact with (I could have told you a king snake was harmless when I was 5 years of age) or you shouldn’t go at all.

    It really doesn’t sound like the petting zoos fault. It is possible your daughter did something to upset the snake, but even if she didn’t, there is always the risk of being bitten by even the most tame of snakes. If you were better informed beforehand, there would have never been an issue.

  3. Bertrand Says:

    Another mom who does not watch her children and rants after the other people when there is a problem…

    I feel sorry for the child bitten, but it was no big deal, certainly not life-threatening, it’s probably better to be bitten by a King Snake than by a big dog.

  4. john Says:

    For me i think its the zoo’s fault!The zoo is saying that it’s the girl’s fault?!ARe they crazy?!!!!It’s their FAULT!!They should have an clinic,first aid and everything!!!It’s not that simple….I mean think of it if you were the parent of thet girl,what would you do?Just si around and do nothing?!Of course you would blame the zoo!!…am…I mean…just think of it,I think all parent will do the same because they love their child and dont want to get hurt,right?All parents that love their children would do the same!!Now if you are a parent and you love your children yo would the same like what Jerry Liao did…I just want to tell the zoo that please make a clinic,hire a doctor,put a first aid kit and everything.Thankyou!

  5. John Says:

    thanks for the warning…I can’t believe that!

  6. lou Says:

    regarding the incident at AoA,
    I hope Mr. Liao’s daughter gets well soon,
    1.) The reply of Tina was indeed very insensitive, considering she’s a woman, I hope it wont happen to her kids if that’s the way she thinks. Put yourself in Mr. Liao’s place, and read your reply.
    A perfect example of pilato.

    2.) I dont see anything wrong with the place, its a cool place for your kids. there is nothing better than fun and education combined. but AoA should train their staff well enough that kids will be safe,
    you can never say kids are not careful that’s why they got bitten, how the hell would they know what is safe and not, in a place for kids! the staff should show how to be safe.
    3.)ok lets just say there are inevitable things that could happen, so why the “clinic” dont have a doctor or maybe a nurse???!!! its like calling hospital without a doctor? I cant call that place a clinic without a medical staff.
    4.) Betadine also should not be put in a container of a soy sauce, that could be mistaken as a soy sauce since their color is alike.

    5.) I hope Mr. Liao should report it to the proper authorities. based on your letter, after assuring that it is not venomous, they didn’t offer help afterwards. the management of AoA should be held liable for what happened, and certain amount for damages should be paid, the trauma for the kid cannot be paid for any amount, since it will not just go away by just paying for it, its not that you are being “mukhang pera” you can even donate the money to some animal conservation non government organization like HaringIbon.

    6.) but I disagree with one thing, I do not wish AoA to be close because of the incident. the incident will hopefully not be forgotten and will be a lesson for the management and to everybody, closing the facility means your also depriving other kids of a wonderful experience( not the biting incident ).

  7. Katherine Says:

    Seriously… that is so stupid.

    If you take your kid to the zoo, YOU need to make sure that they know that things CAN bite them. Yeah sure, you can be upset, and you should be worried about your children… but educate them first! Don’t blame other people for your stupidity of not warning your child. And you did let your child handle the snake while knowing it could bite her, so really… why did you seem so surprised?

    It really irks me when people get upset and instead of blaming themselves, like they should be doing, the find other people and things to blame.

    And as for the whole thing about the Zoo not having a clinic or First Aid for your daughter… well, maybe you should have checked into that before hand.

    And honestly, I work at a pet store… we don’t have a clinic for people and first aid for them. We trust the customers to know that stuff can happen, and if you still want to see the animal or reptile or handle them, and they bite you… well, shit happens.

    Always be prepared for the worst, just in case.

  8. pebs Says:

    people who think that it’s the girl’s fault are crazy!yes, there could be instances where these animals may harm these children, you’re aware of that, I’m aware of that, isn’t it logical for the zoo owners to BE aware of that?also,allowing the children to touch the animals is one of the zoo’s ‘come-ons’, so it is imperative for the zoo to have an infirmary for occurences such as’s a petting zoo, for crying out loud!blame the kid if there’s a sign saying ‘do not touch the animals’. it’s funny because most zoos advise not to feed the animals, but here, they sell you food to be fed to the animals. betadine, in a soysauce bottle?come on!!and by the way, to the owners jake and tina gaw, I hope you get pecked to death by the birds in your zoo.yes, to death, because betadine in a soysauce bottle won’t do squat to help you.

  9. Liza Says:

    I can tell that this is not the first time at all that you mention this topic. Why have you chosen it again?

    It was an accidental reposting.

    • calvin mills Says:

      a goat can bite a turtle can bite a fish can flys ants and spiders bite to so does that mean you dont allow your kids to go outside?

  10. shalu Says:

    thanks for this article
    i was planning a visit there with my 3 kids. Now i wont ever bring them there.
    I hope your daughters okay.
    When these insensitive people advertise their place as PETTING ZOO, it means u can PET the animals. IT MEANS THEY ARE HARMLESS. If there is a possibility their pets can bite they shldnt brand it as a PETTING ZOO but just simply as a ZOO. How nonesense of this people to blame a young innocent child then to actually admit their mistake.
    Thanks really for this article I came across. I would ban the place and advice my friends to do so.

  11. colten Says:

    its a harmless king snake dont be such a sisy

  12. brad h. Says:

    king snakes are harmless unless ur a mouse or another reptile. To make such a big deal out of something so silly is rediculous. In allowing ur child to touch the snake. You put her in the situation. People can’t just blame folks for your own actions. That’s irresponsible. I have been bitten many times by many things. I’m still here. And I have received no treatment I wouldn’t have been due for anyway.

  13. Colin Says:

    Some people and their children make me sick. Like Jerry Liao for example. Why did it take a trip to the hospital for nurses or doctors to question him about whether the albino king snake was venomous or not? See what Liao should have said in that angry email of his is that he never went to the bother of finding out if this snake had venom in it before HE ALLOWED HIS CHILD TO HANDLE IT. Subsequently, he panicked when his child was bitten. Why would anyone allow their child to handle an animal they thought might be venomous? See he didnt bother finding out if this snake had venom and still let his child handle it, i can see its going to be a real one horse race for parent of the year….not! What did he think was going to happen, that if the snake was about to strike the staff would shout a safe word to make the snake stop? It doesnt work like that buddy…its a snake! As a parent it is your responsibility to monitor your child’s activity, not a theme parks. I mean in all seriousness, is there a person in this world who’s IQ would be low enough to lead them to believe that you can 100% tame and control an exotic animal? And i totally agree with another reader, much less harmful than a dog bite. Get a grip and some parenting classes Liao, and maybe then you’ll think twice and actually ask the questions you need to ask before allowing your children to handle exotic animals. Damaging the reputation of a business and creating such a fuss over such an insignificant issue. And does anyone honestly believe that in a global economic slump they should or can afford to employ a doctor on 100,000 dollars a year to deal with glorified scrapes? I am the proud carer of an albino king snake and from someone who was once bitten by them regularly, its no worse than a hypodermic needle and lasts half a second. They tend to bleed a bit but nothing a proper clean with disinfectant and a band aid won’t cure. Maybe for your next holiday you should pass on the exotic animals and go somewhere “safer”…like your local McDonald’s and we can all look forward to Jerry Liao’s next internet rant about how his child was hospitalized from a papercut off the happy meal box!

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