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PREDATORS

It is hard to believe but snakes have many enemies. Large birds, wild boars, mongooses, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and even other snakes are a few of the dangers snakes fall prey to.

Many people find it surprising that the largest and the scariest snakes can be afraid of anything, but it is true.  While they are young they are easy prey to many birds and mammals but when they are older and larger they have humans to fear.

Humans hunt snakes for various reasons.  Many different breeds of snakes are captured and shipped to other countries to be sold in pet shops. Venomous snakes are used for making anti-venon, which is made from their venom and is used to save the life of a snakebite victim.  Snakeskin is used for making many things including shoes, purses and belts.  And, unfortunately, many people often kill snakes out of fear.

One of the biggest threats to the snake population, the same as with many other animals, is the destruction of their habitats by humans.  Their homes are being destroyed to make room for ranches, farms and highways.

Snakes have many ways of protecting themselves.  Their coloring alone is great camouflage and some snakes can burrow down under sand or leaves for extra coverage.  Some huff, puff and hiss loudly or shake their rattle tail to scare off a possible predator while others will flop over and hang their tongue out and play dead! Venomous snakes will try to escape or frighten off a hunter before ever trying to bite them.


Rattlesnake Camoflauge


Rattlesnake Rattle

Photo Source:  National Geographic Photo Gallery
Photographer:  Bruce Dale

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