animal donations


 Editor de Conteúdo

Instituto Butantan receives donations of poisonous animals

snakes, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, ticks and insects


Poisonous animals must be delivered to the Animal Reception of the Special Laboratory for Zoological Collections, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, specimens can be delivered to the Biological Museum 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Upon delivery, the Special Laboratory for Zoological Collections (during the week), will issue a delivery voucher with the identification of the animal and information on its danger. In case they are delivered to the Biological Museum (weekend and holidays), the general identification and information will be supplied on the following business day by internet or telephone.

In case you cannot deliver animals to Instituto Butantan, they can be taken to a Wild Animal Triage Center (Centro de Triagem de Animais Silvestres, Cetas).


animal collection

Bring animals to Instituto Butantan only when there is a doubt about their potential danger or the imminence of an accident. Removing animals from their habitats can put their and other organisms' survival at risk.
It is preferable that the animals be brought to the institute alive, since it is important to obtain the venoms of some species for use in the production of the anti-snake, anti-arachnid and anti-lonomic sera.

Instituto Butantan also takes donations of dead specimens. In such a case, placing the animal in a sealed container with ethyl alcohol is recommended.

It is important to supply as much information as possible, such as the name of the collector, place of capture - including details like small farm, town, neighborhood, reference point, complete coordinates - date of collection, etc.


how to collect snakes

If you do not know collection techniques, request the aid of someone who does (for example, firefighters)

Never handle a snake, dead or alive, without protective gear, since poisonous species can brandish doses of almost 50% of their normal amount. Wearing boots while handling snakes is recommended. For the containment, use a hook, tongs or a catch pole.

The animal carrying case can be made of wood or tough plastic. Do not use cardboard boxes as they easily get wet and therefore become fragile. A wad of cotton wet with water can be placed next to the animal. Do not place a water bottle or any type of food in the carrying case.

The box or its lid should have small perforations no larger than 2mm wide to prevent the animal or its offspring from escaping. Keep the box in a cool place, away from sun or high temperatures.

Snakes should be delivered as fast as possible to Instituto Butantan. The box should only be opened by qualified professionals at Instituto Butantan's animal reception area.


how to collect arthropods (insects, ticks, spiders, scorpions, millipedes)

Taking precautions to avoid bite and sting accidents is highly recommended. If possible, use gloves. The bottles should be clear and have an opening large enough for placing the animal inside. The lid should have small perforations.

To avoid death of the animal by dehydration (except in the case of transporting Lonomia, or “taturana”), placing a wet piece of cloth, paper or cotton inside the container is recommended.

The collector's name, the collection date, a detailed description of the capture location and any other pertinent information should be provided with the animal.

Animals should be delivered to Instituto Butantan as soon as possible.




- Spiders, millipedes and coral snakes should be carried in separate containers or carrying cases.

- Scorpions should be carried in containers with no more than four specimens.

- Dry tree leaves need to be placed and spread inside the box.


fate of the animals donated to Butantan

- Snakes and spiders: kept in captivity to collect the poisons used in the production of anti-snake and anti-arachnid sera;

- Caterpillars Lonomia obliqua: quarantine in order to extract their bristles for use in the production of antilonomic serum;

- Instituto Butantan research laboratories and other institutes for various research;

- Exhibit in the Serpentarium and Biological Museum at Instituto Butantan;

- Insituto Butantan tissue bank and zoological and didactic collections.