Caution ! Before starting keeping scorpions, some « rules » must be known :
- scorpions must not be considered as pets. Keeping these animals should be done only with the aim of observing them, and not handling them. These animals are unable to recognize « the hand that feeds them » and will never be grateful to it…they will not hesitate to sting it if it approaches too near !
- you must also know that scorpions are nocturnal animals, i.e. they usually spend all the day sheltered from light under a stone, a bark, in a burrow, etc…and they only leave their hiding places during the night to eat. Thus, do not expect to be able to observe your scorpion constantly, it will be usually invisible, leaving at the observer’s disposal a terrarium filled of ground or sand and some stones or barks…
- to want to keep a scorpion and to keep one are completely different. As any living organism, scorpions have needs to survive, usually requiring a weekly attention, sometimes daily. And so, you must think long and hard before acquiring a scorpion : will I be able to take care of it ? Do I have all the necessary conditions to keep suitably my scorpion ? Will I be able to feed it regularly ? How will I be able to take care of it if I go on holiday ?…In short, so many questions you must wonder and answer before acquiring a scorpion.
- finally, it must be known that all scorpions are venomous and potentially dangerous for human. Several species have to be absolutely avoided when beginning : their maintenance must be done only by very experienced keepers with an aim of behaviour study. Few species are really dangerous for human, and it is not necessary to hold these species to study and understand the behaviour of scorpions. So, the choice should be done among all the other species, less dangerous and quite as much interesting.
- and to finish, an equation easy to remember : Danger = Toxicity x Risk. The danger of a scorpion (or any other venomous animal) to human not only lies in the fact that this one has a venom (Toxicity), but it is also necessary to take account of the various actions, wilful or not, of the man to the scorpion (Risk).
An example : the increase of the mortality due to a Brazilian scorpion, Tityus stigmurus, is in total relationship with the increase of deforestation that aims at extending human habitation for an increasing population. Tityus stigmurus, a very venomous scorpion (Toxicity), lives in the tropical forest, but the growth of the Brazilian population, and thus the deforestation, oblige the inhabitants to come into contact with this scorpion (Risk), thus the risk of stings increases and the cases of death too (Danger).
Another example : you wish to acquire a potentially venomous scorpion (Toxicity), thus you go in a specialized pet shop, you buy it, then you bring it back your home : the Risk is increased. You put it in its terrarium, the Risk increases again. Then, every time you will open the door of the terrarium, the Risk will increase. The purpose of this example is not to discourage you from acquiring a scorpion, but only to remind you that the dangerousness of several scorpions is not only the fact of the toxicity of these animals, and that nobody is safe from a small moment of absent-mindedness, sometimes leading to a significant increase of the Danger.
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