To the editors:
I enjoyed the excerpt from Don Gold’s book, Zoo [September 16]. I was appalled, however, at Art Maraldi’s handling of the mice that he feeds to snakes. Lab strains of mice are quite docile if handled calmly and firmly. Killing the mice by throwing them on the floor so they die of fractured skulls, internal injuries, etc. is inexcusably inhumane. I have handled hundreds of mice and I recommend that he not use tongs–they are cumbersome and unnecessary. If he simply grasps each mouse by the tail, allows it to hold onto a rough surface (a screen cage top, for example), and dislocates its neck quickly, it will die without awareness or pain. The process is fast and efficient as well as humane.