The 16th of July is celebrated as World Snake Day. Unfortunately many people do not like snake and have bad associations about them. Snakes are said to be conniving and - there even is an own expression - snaky. But they are beautiful and to some extend endangered animals. World Snake Day recommends to get rid of that prejudices. Animals are never mean or ugly - they all have their place in the world’s ecosystem.

Since the beginning of time, snakes have had a bad reputation being deemed evil, sly and deadly. When speaking about one’s fears in life, most often snakes are at the top of the list. There are many misconceptions about these long, slithery, legless creatures but hopefully, with some ‘snake education’, accompanied by an open mind, another side of snakes will be revealed that will give the snake skeptics something to think about.

World Snake Day is an opportune time to get to know snakes better. This day of recognition was established to help people learn more about these misrepresented reptiles and to highlight the vital role they play in the balance of nature.

Interesting facts about the snake  

  • The only continent without any snakes is Antarctica
  • There are over 3000 kinds of snakes in the world. They are present in every continent except Antarctica
  • Snakes cannot bite their food so in order to eat large prey, they will unhinge their jaw to swallow the food whole
  • Snakes such as boas and anacondas suffocate their prey by squeezing it to death
  • Because snakes have a slow metabolism rate, they don’t have to eat as often as other animals. The King Cobra can go months without having to eat
  • Snakes often appear in religion, although they can have different meanings, from wickedness to wisdom and protection
  • Snakes use their tongue to smell
  • The fear of snakes is called ophidiophobia
  • Despite snakes often being feared, more people are killed by bees than snakes every year
  • The Black Mamba is the fastest snake in the world and can move up to 12mph (20kmph)!
Are Snakes as Evil as We Think?

Snakes habitats   

Snakes are common animals and chances are that you have seen a snake slithering around at some point in your life. They can be found in a variety of habitats. A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives and includes the animal's surroundings and home.

Some snakes live in habitats on land, including forests, prairies, and deserts. Others live in water environments. Even though snakes can be found all over the world, most of the snakes live in warm tropical climates.

What do they eat?   

Snakes consume many different animals including insects small rodents and frogs. Snakes eat their prey whole because their lower jaw can separate from the upper jaw. Very large snakes can even eat small deer, pigs, monkeys, and even primates.

Are snakes fearful?   

Along with spiders, leeches and other 'creepy-crawlies', people often perceive snakes as animals to fear and hate. In the case of snakes and spiders, some are also venomous, with a few having the potential to kill. This has led to the belief that 'the only good snake is a dead snake' - the vast majority of spiders suffer the same stigma, and the same fate. Snakes usually prefer to retreat when encountered but can become defensive if threatened. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake. When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.

Snake populations in decline   

Snakes play an important role in many different types of ecosystems. However, their numbers are generally declining. Here are some reasons for their declining:

  1. The indiscriminate killing of snakes by people who fear or dislike them. Many harmless snakes, and even legless lizards, are killed unnecessarily in this way
  2. introduced predators such as foxes, dogs and cats
  3. removing snake habitat, through clearing land for agriculture or urban development
  4. more frequent bushfires
  5. snakes being run over on roads

We should Treat Snakes with Respect    

It is easy to mistake the identity of a snake, and the results are not pleasant for either human or snake.

Remember, snakes are not as aggressive as people generally believe and they play an important role in our ecosystems. Generally speaking, it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance. If the snake is posing a problem, call in a professional snake catcher. 
 

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