Snakes get an unfair reputation. They are not evil creatures that want to attack every human they see - unless, of course, they're serpents being possessed by the devil, and let's face it - that just happened the one time.
Check out the king cobra in the photo above. I was astounded by her elegance and grace as I watched her move. This is a creature well-deserving of her royal name. It is unfortunate that they are at risk of extinction in the wild. Admittedly, it may be terrifying to encounter one who feels threatened. King cobras can grow up to eighteen feet long, and can raise itself up high enough to look a full grown man in the eyes, but they will always choose to avoid a human encounter if it is possible. Though not the most venomous of snakes, one bite can deliver enough neurotoxin to wipe out twenty men, or an elephant, BUT did you know that the same venom is used in the development of pain relievers and arthritis medication? AND, according to National Geographic, of all snakes in the world, the king cobra is the only one that builds a nest for its eggs. The faithful mother will then stand guard over her nest, protecting the eggs until they hatch. This snake deserves all of the admiration and respect we can offer.
Now HERE is the most venomous snake - the gaboon viper. Growing to roughly five feet, this viper is also known for having the longest fangs of any other snake - two inches long! You definitely do not want to get bitten by this snake. Fortunately, they are also known for being incredibly docile. They usually will not even hiss if being handled, though they can do so quite loudly if they feel threatened. A bite is always a last resort. I have learned this to be the truth of nearly all snakes. Whether it be hissing, rattling, or making themselves appear bigger with a hood, a snake will always ask you to back off before choosing to bite. It is best to show them the respect they deserve and walk away.
The gaboon viper in the photo above and on the right has just begun the shedding process. If you look carefully, you can see the skin peeling away. He is rubbing his head along the debris on the ground to help loosen it further. This is an incredible thing to watch, and it makes me incredibly grateful that people don't have to go through this - and that if we did, we at least have hands to help speed the process along. It seems very uncomfortable!
The photo above might be one of my favorite snake photos I've taken. Can you find the sand viper? Unfortunately, I can find next to no information about them, so if any of you know any cool facts about them, please comment, and let me know!
I hope that these photos have shown you how beautiful these animals are. They are truly amazing creatures who should be admired, respected, and loved - not feared and hated.
Until next time!