A snake is an extremely terrifying thing to come across or be associated with. Snakes should be respected just like any other living creature, but they should not cause fear that leads to rocks smashing their heads, you know that…
Ask yourself, why am I afraid? Because you have a perception of snakes as slithery (To move or slide by twisting or undulating the body or over a surface), slimmy, creepy, deadly animals? Now ask yourself, what shaped that perception of snakes? Was it media highlights of rare occurrences people suffering a snake bite but no information on the species in our area, and why persons were affected by the bite? Or was it television shows that use snakes portraying them as something to be feared? Or maybe people around you know of someone who died after a snake bite? Have you stopped to question why you are so scared? Most people cannot answer this question- or they answer “I just think they are deadly”.
It’s not good enough a reason to smash a snake’s head like I saw someone do while we were out for a walk.
Snakes are venomous and not poisonous. Poisonous is something that gets on your skin or has toxins on the outside of its body for protection, and venomous is something that must inject its venom (certain species of snakes and spiders)
Snakes are the vital parts of our ecosystem that utilize their venom to stun their prey to eat. Mice, Small Birds, Lizards, Other snakes, Amphibians and insects are the types of prey for these snakes, not humans.
When snakes are threatened (i.e. when aggravated with sticks or rocks by fearful humans), their last defense is to strike you, we have different species of snakes in our area whose venom is very diverse and requires different treatment modes. Some are highly toxic and kill very fast while others paralyses you immediately they get into the blood stream. Stay away and the snake will change your perspective on snakes. Respect snakes, don’t attempt killing them.
There was this hot sunny afternoon of January when I was having a small rest in my grass thatched hut, I decided to get some rest and I fell asleep. Shortly after a deep sleep I was awakened by some little noise. “Is it my brother who has just arrived from the river?” I thought. When I turned and moved my eye to the direction of the door where the noise came from to have a glimpse on what exactly had entered the house, I was surprised to see a very big snake that had just inserted its head inside a 20 litre watering can with half its body outside. The watering can was half filled with water. As I remained glued to my bed waiting to see what would happen, the snake confidently drank the water. “Should I strike it?” No, I just recalled what my grandma told me, that during dry seasons wild animals including snakes go even to the extent of entering into houses looking for some water to drink.
As soon as the snake finished drinking the water, I watched it with fear as it turned to find its way out of the house.
Another interesting thing about snakes is their feeding habits. When looking for prey, they laze around and hang out in places where their prey is most likely to pass through having camouflage markings and ability to stay still so that they are not noticed or detected by the prey. When the prey gets near enough aided by its tail, it will then struck it poison or constrict. Large prey is swallowed head first aided by fangs and teeth that point backwards forcing the prey towards the throat and keep slippery prey from slipping back out until the whole of it gets swallowed. The snake will then go for a certain tree species and eat its leaves so that it will help rot the swallowed prey and soften it so that it will not damage the inside of the snake. They rarely eat more than once in a week unless their prey is really small. It takes two weeks for a snake to digest a meal. During this period of digestion, the snake becomes inactive such that even if you play around with it can’t do any harm to you. However, in case of any danger a snake would regurgitate its recently eaten food in order to direct energy away from digestive functions to increase its mobility and put it towards escaping a predator….
Respect snakes, stop killing them. ……………….”They are afraid of you just as you are afraid of it…”
Written and compiled by Bennittes Kipyegon
Copyright @ Our Environment & Conservation