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Why are people afraid of snakes?

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BrewKnurd

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I think I'm going to stay in New York City where it is safe.

I have to say I am a huge gecko lover. Poor buggers always look scared and they dont do anything destructive... plus they eat bugs.

Both times I was in Mexico I shared a room with a gecko on the wall or ceiling and I didnt even insist they pay rent.
I found a tree frog on the shower rod when I moved into my first apartment here in Louisiana.
 

Airplanedoc

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Got this email today, since it applied I thought I would share.


GARDEN SNAKES CAN BE DANGEROUS...

Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis) can be dangerous Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes. Here's why.

A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze.

It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa.

She let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa.

He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor.

His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance.

The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his protests, loaded him on the stretcher, and started carrying him out.

About that time, the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch.. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief.

But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa.

The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her.

The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.

By now, the police had arrived.
Breathe here...

They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little garden snake!

The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.

Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the sofa and one of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, neighbors saw the burning drapes and called in the fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires, put out the power, and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out).

Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car and all was right with their world.

A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

And that's when he shot her.
 

Shamrock01

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I think most are afraid of snakes simply because they do not know a lot about snakes. Most fears are unfounded, but there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of respect and caution though.
I keep Cobras, Pythons and Vipers, and have never had any accidents, my wife is not even scared of them . . . anymore. And I just caught a monster Snouted Cobra about 5 mins ago, an absolutely crazy one! Will see if I can get some pics tomorrow.
 

Shamrock01

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Here he is, sorry for the poor quality pics, I'll take some better ones with the DSLR when I release him.

IMG-20130310-00136.jpg


IMG-20130310-00129.jpg


IMG-20130310-00132.jpg
 

CreamyGoodness

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Pet snakes and sky diving are hobbies that I think are very cool... for other people to have.
 

CreamyGoodness

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What I dont care for much when it comes to non-mammals as pets is that they dont "bond" with you like a mammal might. Best you can get from a lizard or a snake is a shaky agreement to not bite in return for an environment and food. Forget to feed a lizard on time and he might very well bite you.

Mammals, even rats, if treated a certain way will be legitimately happy to see you over time.
 

BrewKnurd

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What I dont care for much when it comes to non-mammals as pets is that they dont "bond" with you like a mammal might. Best you can get from a lizard or a snake is a shaky agreement to not bite in return for an environment and food. Forget to feed a lizard on time and he might very well bite you.

Mammals, even rats, if treated a certain way will be legitimately happy to see you over time.
Right, so if your desire for a pet is based on a need to be loved, then mammals are for you.

;)
 

Zuljin

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Shaky agreement not to bite. LOL!

We've tons of those screen lizards. Geckoes. There was a big Texas striped lizard making its home in our roses last summer. Not many anoles up here, but we used to clip them on our ears.

We've lots of Earth snakes too. They love the veggie garden.
 

CoalCracker

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What I dont care for much when it comes to non-mammals as pets is that they dont "bond" with you like a mammal might. Best you can get from a lizard or a snake is a shaky agreement to not bite in return for an environment and food. Forget to feed a lizard on time and he might very well bite you.

Mammals, even rats, if treated a certain way will be legitimately happy to see you over time.
I have two guinea pigs that make a ton of noise and look for you when you get home from work or come down the steps in the morning. Just in their cage, looking at you making noise. However, try and touch them and they run away. Dumb animals.
 

CreamyGoodness

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I'm told guinae pigs are tasty ;).

Funny story about how our brains get us in trouble, a few years back my wife and I went to a friend's apartment for dinner. They had two pet rats with very different personalities, one was lethargic and dumb and the other was hyper and hyper-smart.

My wife had no problem with the lethargic one that was snoozing in her lap, but the other guy who was running around on the couch? That was a RAT!
 

Varmintman

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I have to say I am with Creamy on this one. Other than having a outdoor cat you can ignore and that kills mice If you are going to have a pet the pet should at least pretend to like you.

I told my kid the next pet we got though we are going to eat
 

naiek

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Love snakes, kept them as pets for most of my life; wanted to be a herpetologist since I was young. An attempt to answer the original question: I think it has to do with some of the being venomous most and people not knowing which is which. Also, I think it has to do with them being predators, not the kind where you give them a bowl of kibble or anything else not resembling another living animal, you have to give it the whole animal, and quite often alive.
 

Shamrock01

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Now that's a snake. Why is he in your possession?
I rescue wild snakes in our area and aspecially at work, normally though I release them the same day or the following if they were cuaght at night, unless they are injured or its too cold, in which case the snake will only be released when healthy and the weather favours it. This one is busy shedding, so he'll be released after the shed and a "free" meal.
 

pjj2ba

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I think the fear of snakes is instinctual. My cat is afraid of anything that is vaguely snake shaped - and this cat has never seen a snake! (Not that I'm calling anyone a p***y here ;)). A piece of string is fine, but anything that is say thicker than your pinky is given a look of suspicion and a wide bearth. I got some nasty scratches once trying to prove to him that the cheap green plastic lei was nothing to be feared
 

beaksnbeer

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Think the really big problem people have with snake is the ability to move in any direction so quickly. I have no problems with anything except RATS lapdog of EVIL!!! bbuurrrhhh
 

billybryson54

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When I was a child, I would have nightmares about snakes (Rattlesnakes, to be more specific). I would be in some random-ass location that I wouldn't ever be on a normal day, and they would chase after me. No matter how fast I ran, they would always catch me and bite me. Didn't matter if I locked myself in a car, running on the street, Just didn't matter. Every single time they would find a way to get into wherever I was, chase me down, and get me. That alone caused me some serious childhood trauma. Sounds strange I know, but I used to have those dreams quite frequently. Why I ever had those dreams to begin with, I have absolutely no idea. Funny thing? I've never once seen a rattlesnake in person. Not even in a cage in the pet store or the zoo, and certainly not in the wild...but from my childhood experience alone, I know that if I ever DID see one, I would probably freeze in fear.
 

LandoLincoln

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When I was a child, I would have nightmares about snakes (Rattlesnakes, to be more specific). I would be in some random-ass location that I wouldn't ever be on a normal day, and they would chase after me. No matter how fast I ran, they would always catch me and bite me. Didn't matter if I locked myself in a car, running on the street, Just didn't matter. Every single time they would find a way to get into wherever I was, chase me down, and get me. That alone caused me some serious childhood trauma. Sounds strange I know, but I used to have those dreams quite frequently. Why I ever had those dreams to begin with, I have absolutely no idea. Funny thing? I've never once seen a rattlesnake in person. Not even in a cage in the pet store or the zoo, and certainly not in the wild...but from my childhood experience alone, I know that if I ever DID see one, I would probably freeze in fear.
Maybe you should go to a zoo and see one in person and see that they're not nearly as scary as they are in your imagination.
 

CreamyGoodness

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Night falls and I'm taken by sleep
Hot night air blows up balloons in my dreams
Ding-dong rings the bell
Something's at the door
So I put on my slippers
And I creep across the floor

For the door from hence I heard
Another ding-dong
I peep through the door hole
But something's very wrong
As on my porch
There are thousands of snakes
Ready to strike
I feel queasy and
My knees start to shake

My perilous fate
I see no escape as serpents lay seige
To my country estate
The Devil must have opened Hell's gate
and called up millions of snakes
To take me from this place

Big ones Little ones
Fat ones Skinny ones
Protect me from their venomous drug
That springs from the needles of fangs
Attacked by Snakes

By Snakes
So many snakes
You could fill the Great Lakes
With snakes
Ha ha ha run
I try to hide
But snake bites on my face testify
I've been attacked by snakes

By snakes so many snakes
It would take a thousand crates
To contain the snakes after me
I'd rather be burned at the stake
Than be attacked by snakes

Welcome to my world
Or should I say this land of snakes
Serpents lie and wait
At every take my knees quake
As my life these snakes invade
Snake invaders show their fangs
On the snake parade

My perilous fate
I see no escape
As my family prays and waits
I fight them off with
Shovels and rakes and
Bats and phones
But I just can't seem
To shake these bones
That slither from the dark
To destroy my home

[Chorus]

One snake, Two snakes
Are there any more?
There's two more
Knocking at my door...
 

billybryson54

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Maybe you should go to a zoo and see one in person and see that they're not nearly as scary as they are in your imagination.
I'm sure sometime in my life I'll run into one, whether I want to or not. I mean, I know that they aren't complete jerks who won't bite unless provoked(For the most part) but those dreams are something that still stick with me to this day. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have a phobia of snakes in general, though. Other snakes I don't seem to mind too much. I don't know, I'm a weird one I guess. Haha.
 
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BobbiLynn

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I'm a weird one I guess. Haha.
When I was a kid, I liked to look for snakes, then I would be very still and lay my arm down across their path, so I could feel how it felt running across my skin. Or sometimes just the palm of my hand, or the back or my hand. I liked to see how they felt crawling across different body parts.

No, I think I am the weird one. Especially since now, I am kind of afraid of them. My childhood fearlessness has faded.
 
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BobbiLynn

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A four foot long, thick, white oak snake on my porch

Kind of odd I wrote this a while back, a 4.25 foot white oak was on my porch eating my chicks not long ago, a month ago maybe? I wonder if it was the same one. It somehow got into the coop and ate 3 chicks and left one dead. Hubby freaked out, I grabbed it around the back of it's head, so it couldn't try to bite me and told hubby grab a trash bag, some lawn/garden trash bags happened to be sitting nearby. I was very, very scared but I didn't have a choice. My fearless hubby was freaking out, had to do something. Guess I called upon my inner child.

Hubby promised he would take it to a nice far away place to live in peace, but later he told me the exact measurements of it, 4.25 feet. I know he did not measure it live.
 

wolfstar

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We have plenty of snakes around here, rattlers and other not so dangerous ones. They just need respect and space is all, they are part of the ecosystem...an important part.

I help out at an exotics animal hospital in Mesa, handling a lot of snakes (and lizards, birds, exotic mammals, etc). Snakes don't appeal to me as pets, but handled and cared for properly, they are no more dangerous than a Hamster...
 

Schlomo

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So SWMBO and i went fishing this last weekend and hiked down to a little dock. She is terrified of snakes, and i assured her we would be fine. Low and behold we are fishing and a large water snake comes streaking accross the water right toward the dock. She freezes, clenches everything, and about passes out, so i swatted the snake with my fishing pole and it went away.

Not sure why they scare her so much, but hey.
 
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