Everyone likes a good massage; relaxing and releasing the stress of the day. But what if the massage was a snake massage? That's right ... a SNAKE massage!
This is exactly what the Cebu City Zoo in the Philippines offers their visitors. Sounds crazy right? Well, according to the snake handlers, the snake massage is actually quite calming and therapeutic, and only costs the price of zoo admission - $0.50.
So, how does the snake massage work? Each visitor, who chooses to participate, lies down on a bamboo mat while they are explained the rules of the massage. There are really only two rules: 1. No shouting for help, and 2. No blowing air on the snakes.
After the rules are relayed to the visitor, four giant Burmese pythons, named Michelle, Walter, EJ and Daniel, are placed on top of them, one at a time; the combine weight of the snakes is approximately 550 pounds. The snakes then slither over the person's body for 15 minutes while they remain as still as possible.
Giovanni Romarate, the zoo manager, explained that most of the people who took part in the massage found it to be relaxing and actually enjoyed it. He also explained that they chose to use Burmese pythons because they are not venomous. "Snakes do not attack as long as they are not harmed," Romarate said.
"At first, visitors feel fear but most of the guests who try the snake massage say that they like it," Romarate added. "It's like getting a hand massage. You get to enjoy the cold grip of our snakes."
Romarate, who owns Michelle and Walter, is convinced that the massage is safe. However, what keeps the snakes from turning and attacking the person underneath them? Well, nothing exactly, but the handlers do take precautionary actions before each massage. The snakes are receive a pre-massage meal that usually consists of 10 chickens so they will theoretically not be hungry.
Image via Cebuzoo.blogspot.com