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Your Biggest Snake Misconceptions (for lack of a better word)

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  • Your Biggest Snake Misconceptions (for lack of a better word)

    I'm writing a column about my two snakes for my school's newspaper and am going to debunk the five biggest snake myths. So I'm appealing to COTH for your biggest reasons to fear snakes, if you do. Such as: slimy, venemous, etc - basically, why are you scared of them?
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

  • #2
    That all snakes eat mice and other large rodents

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    • #3
      I'm afraid of some snakes due to venom. I like them for the good they do, but I'm afraid of poisonous snakes. I don't like the idea of picking up a bale of hay and finding a rattler underneath.

      However, I am happy to find other kinds of snakes on the property.

      I guess my fear is death.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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      • #4
        I used to have a snake. People think they're mean or evil. Nah. Also slimey because of the shine. They're cool cause they're like one big muscle... the live food I think freaks people out too, but hey, snake's got to eat, if they didn't, we'd be overrun with pests quick.

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        • #5
          I used to get snakes and bring them home and keep them in my room. Got in a lot of trouble. But those were not poisonous snakes. I really do like them!
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

          Comment


          • #6
            I personally like snakes, but most people I know would kill them out of hand. Here's the list of why people I know don't like snakes:

            They're dangerous and will bite you.
            Any snake can kill you with a bite.
            Snakes will attack you for no reason.
            Snakes will bite anything they can find (ie: horses)

            It appears to me that people just don't get that the snake wants to be left alone, just like you! They don't WANT to attack you, they're only doing it in self-defense! That's why they have all sorts of tactics to warn you away!

            Anyway, I'm a snake advocate, and am trying to give you ideas from other people. And yes, for some reason, everyone thinks snakes are "slimy".

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            • #7
              I like snakes a lot-
              My pet peeve is when people call them poisonous
              Poisonous- kills you if YOU bite IT
              Venomous- kills you if IT bites YOU
              ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
              ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
              ~Vet Tech Student
              Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

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              • #8
                But the V word is harder to spell and spell check doesn't get it right.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have snake questions:

                  Do they show affection in ways that humans can appreciate?
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    I have snake questions:

                    Do they show affection in ways that humans can appreciate?
                    I believe that they do, or at the very least, they recognize people that treat them nicely. I've had the experience of holding a snake that I use for public relations...he is a Yellow Anaconda named Sunny...during demos he was quiet and content while with me, but if I tried to let someone else hold him he would clearly try to stay with me, or get back to me as soon as he could. I believe that he "likes me" . I am not the one that feeds him so it isn't that, and he is tolerant of strangers but he doesn't want to be held by them. Sunny is such a cool snake, during demos he would wrap around my waist and just hang out there like a big fat belt. He's too big to use now which is too bad, he was a great ambassador.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How heavy and muscley they really are! I held a snake for the first time a couple of years ago - I don't remember what kind, it was at a wildlife rescue, but it was maybe a foot and a half long and brown - and that thing not only weighed a ton, but I was shocked by the sheer power they have in the muscle on those bodies! That little snake was strong.

                      Oh and that they actually feel smooth to pet, despite the scales.

                      ETA - sorry, I misread your request a little...I'm actually not scared of them, so I can't help with that, but I'll leave what I wrote in case it helps you with your article somehow
                      *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm not scared of them either, but I know next to nothing about them. Pet snakes freak me out a little because I would always worry that if it escaped, you'd never find it in the walls of the house and it would reappear by surprise - picture cartoon snake popping his head out of a floor vent while you're sitting calmly in the recliner reading a book! Wild snakes are pretty shy around here and really the only time you see them is when you catch them with the lawnmower by mistake (poor snakey). So my big question/misconception is really, "why would you want to catch a wild snake and make it a pet, since they're shy of humans anyway and seem perfectly happy living under the barn by themselves?" Do snakes really do ok in domestic life? do they adapt to their situations? do snake lovers recognize a stressed out snake and make adjustments to its lifestyle to keep it happier? are snakes social beings? do they want to have another snake nearby, or are they satisfied watching the cat across the room or the spider in the terrarium next door?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                          "why would you want to catch a wild snake and make it a pet, since they're shy of humans anyway and seem perfectly happy living under the barn by themselves?"
                          Why do humans do lots of things ? If you don't have the money (or parent/SO will not let you buy one) or just don't want to pay for a pet snake why not catch one? They do OK living under the barn by themselves, but they have a greater life span and a more comfortable living in the hands of a responsible human.

                          Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                          Do snakes really do ok in domestic life? do they adapt to their situations? do snake lovers recognize a stressed out snake and make adjustments to its lifestyle to keep it happier?
                          Oh yes, if they are provided adequate space and terrarium suited to their needs as well as correct feeding and water. And yes to snake lovers realizing that their snake is not doing well and making changes as needed. The responsible part of any pet owner!

                          Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                          "are snakes social beings? do they want to have another snake nearby, or are they satisfied watching the cat across the room or the spider in the terrarium next door?
                          No. They typically do not care if another snake is nearby unless that snake is either a predator or a food item. I would not keep a spider where it could see the snake as that would cause stress for the spider knowing a predator is right there. Same with a pet mouse....


                          They can be great, low-maintenance pets for the prepared. I no longer have a pet snake, but it was fun for the duration. One (red tail boa) had bitten my SO unprovoked when it was small, and as it had gotten bigger and bigger we just were not comfortable handling the snake and re-homed her. The other was a corn snake we had a long time, but over time we got really uncomfortable about feeding her live mice (could not train her to take the pre-killed) and re-homed her. Corn snakes can be great starter snakes if you are interested in trying one although be prepared that some will only eat live food.

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                          • #14
                            well, after watching a wild snake spend 45 minutes slowly, oh so slowly, swallow a live, suffering horribly fish, who may have then lived for a long period of time inside the snake slowly being dissolved, I can't say I'm too fond of them. Guess that's what they do with everything they eat- no quick deaths for them, make their prey suffer horribly for a long period of time. Cruelty incarnate. Yeah, I know it's natural, and they don't care, but it's still not something I want to encourage. Used to leave them alone, now I kill on sight. Unnatural selection.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks! I learned some stuff about snakes today!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wendy:
                                That's not typical- constrictors kill in a flash- 30-40 seconds and it's over normally
                                water snakes do swallow prey live, but, again, seconds is more normal. I'd guess the wild one you saw happened to catch a fish with spines. Those spines lock out and make it VERY hard to swallow the fish. I've had bigger fish DIE when they tried to eat one like that- the spines pierce the inside of the throat and the fish is locked in place.

                                I hate to see people who say they kill snakes on sight for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that by killing your local harmless snakes (rats, corns, garters, etc) you create an empty niche for rats, mice, or even worse, venomous snakes, to move in. Would you rather have a single snake that you see occasionally, or the several hundred rats it would have prevented? Tim Harrison has a great story in his book about an incident like that- homeowners exterminated the local harmless snakes in their yard, and suddenly had a ton of rattlesnakes move in to take advantage of the empty space.
                                ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                                ~Vet Tech Student
                                Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  That all snakes are aggressive and will come after you. Where I live, the only snakes are harmless garter snakes. It always amazes me when people run away at the site of them, thinking the snake will try and chase them. Meanwhile, the snake is booking it in the opposite direction!
                                  .

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                                  • #18
                                    Some snakes helped my slacker daddy grow up while in college.

                                    He gets drunk at in a fight with his also drunk frat brother. Daddy, (whose frat gave him the nick name, Pinky P___) got his jaw broken.

                                    He called up his daddy (who grew up dirt poor, sent his 6 younger siblings to school) and said that he couldn't possibly study with his jaw wired shut.

                                    So his dad says, "Fine, bail on school for a bit, but you will get a job."

                                    Somehow, my father ends up working on an oil platform in the swamps of Louisiana. He said that they had "Chinese overtime." If you can forgive the racism, here's how that works: For every hour after the end of your shift, you got paid half of what you did the hour before.

                                    And do you know why Pinky P____didn't bail on that? Because there were cotton mouth snakes who would not merely bite you if they got the opportunity, but would chase you down in order to get the opportunity.

                                    My father returned to school and bore no grudges against snakes.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I like snakes, but I still jump if I see one suddenly

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                        well, after watching a wild snake spend 45 minutes slowly, oh so slowly, swallow a live, suffering horribly fish, who may have then lived for a long period of time inside the snake slowly being dissolved, I can't say I'm too fond of them. Guess that's what they do with everything they eat- no quick deaths for them, make their prey suffer horribly for a long period of time. Cruelty incarnate. Yeah, I know it's natural, and they don't care, but it's still not something I want to encourage. Used to leave them alone, now I kill on sight. Unnatural selection.
                                        Are you kidding me? Cruelty? Cruelty is INTENTIONAL infliction of pain or stress or...Snakes are NOT doing this intentionally. They are intentionally eating. They do what they do because they have no limbs. And many snakes DO kill before eating by constriction or venom. How would you have them eat differently? Wow.
                                        Laurie

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