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Why do we fear snakes?


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#1    msmike1

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:12 PM

Fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias, yet many people have never seen a snake in person. So how is this fear generated?

http://www.livescien...ear-snakes.html

I don't understand the fear myself. I love snakes, they are one of the most awesome creatures in nature. Venomous, non-venomous, small, large, I don't care I love them all. I grew up in a home that killed every snake they saw, but I never thought that was right. When other kids were reading kids books, I was reading books about snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles, etc... Even though all I heard growing up was how deadly they were, and was taught to fear them, it never stuck. I just refused to believe it and I still don't at 35yrs old. Because of this I don't think it is a taught fear, I think it is something else, or maybe it has to do with how independent a child is, how much of a free thinker, I don't know. Anyway, I have spent the better part of my life trying to understand snakes better, learning as much about them as I could. I think ignorance of the animal plays the biggest part, we as humans are scared of what we don't understand.

Mike


#2    Yes_Man

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:22 PM

So you are not scared of an Anaconda and even if it ate your dog?


#3    EllJay

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:34 PM

A love for a special groups of animals, in your case snakes, lizards, frogs etc, is normal and is no more odd than cat-lovers.
But it is a fact that a majority of the snakes in this world are poisonous or can injure a human being pretty severely.
So  the initial thought might not to kill everything you see that snake around, but more likely just stay clear of them.
Healthy respect.

But there are a crapload of people who have loved snakes, lived with snakes, worked with snakes who didnt think (or at least ignored the safety) they could hurt them.
They were wrong, and dead because of it.
The last one was Mack Wolford, the rattlesnake pastor, who thought God was going to save him from the venom.
Another one was the Swede in Australia that was crushed to death by his python:

Quote

"Crushed by Pet Python

By SAM RICHES and BRYAN LITTLELY
May 02, 2005
Brisbane Courier Mail

POLICE suspect a pet snake is responsible for the death of a man found yesterday in his Tanunda home.

The body of professional snake handler Erik Attmarrsson was discovered at his Mattiske Rd property by a work colleague from nearby Venom Supplies.

Police said marks on the face of the 28-year-old, from Sweden, could be consistent with being crushed to death by a snake he kept in an enclosure at the property.

Officers were searching for his pet Queensland native scrub python, which can grow to an average of about 5m, because it had disappeared from its secure enclosure.

Love your snakes, but never trust your snakes.

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#4    Biff Wellington

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:40 PM

Why do store pretend that they are selling clothes at a deal? Why do people buy jeans that are already torn up? Why do the teenagers of today think that the 80s are worth reliving? These are the many mysteries of the universe.


#5    Child of Bast

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:56 PM

I have interacted with snakes before. They don't bother me. I have a healthy respect for the venomous kind and don't wish to interact with them. I watch Swamp Wars (I think that's the name of the show) on Animal Planet all the time. It makes me giggle to see grown men go nuts over snakes. LOL

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#6    GreenmansGod

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

I agree with them, it is an instinct. As children grow you can either foster it or you can teach them not to fear.

  I wouldn't keep a snake as a pet, but I'm not afraid of them, I respect them.  Some of them can hurt you pretty bad. When you spend time in rattle snake country you learn to carry a stick, not to kill. but to worn the snake you're coming or to block if needed.  Kind of like wearing a bell in bear country.  Most animals attack when spooked.

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#7    msmike1

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:21 PM

View PostEllJay, on 19 June 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

A love for a special groups of animals, in your case snakes, lizards, frogs etc, is normal and is no more odd than cat-lovers.
But it is a fact that a majority of the snakes in this world are poisonous or can injure a human being pretty severely.
So  the initial thought might not to kill everything you see that snake around, but more likely just stay clear of them.
Healthy respect.

But there are a crapload of people who have loved snakes, lived with snakes, worked with snakes who didnt think (or at least ignored the safety) they could hurt them.
They were wrong, and dead because of it.
The last one was Mack Wolford, the rattlesnake pastor, who thought God was going to save him from the venom.
Another one was the Swede in Australia that was crushed to death by his python:



Love your snakes, but never trust your snakes.

You need to re-check your facts. It is people like you that post things which they know nothing about that lead people down the wrong path. The vast majority of the snakes in this world are harmless. The percentage of snakes that can do serious harm to a human is rather small compared to the number that are harmless. Before you post completely false information and then state it as fact, do a little research next time. Can snakes harm us, well yes, some can and if you do not respect them for it, that is your fault. Also, I would like to know exactly how many a "Crapload" is.

NO, I am not scared of an anaconda, in fact that is one snake that is on my wishlist to interact with. I would love to travel to the Amazon and find one in the wild. They are awesome creatures but should be respected. Their ability to reach very large sizes makes them dangerous.

Everyone should have a healthy respect for any venomous animal, snakes included, but one word of warning about these shows such as Swamp Wars and the such that come on Animal Planet or whatever station. I watch them purely for entertainment purposes. They are full of wrong handling practices, sensationalism, and false information. Some of it is correct, but some isn't. Please don't listen to everything you see on TV.

Clothes are very rarely a deal, I despise seeing a new pair of jeans that is already torn up and in my opinion anyone who buys them isn't that intelligent to begin with, and the 80's wasn't all that good considering the clothes, hair, and music.

Mike

Just for clarification, only about a quarter of all species of snakes are venomous. Also, no snake on earth is poisonous. They are venomous, there is a difference. Venom has to be injected, or introduced into the blood stream to be dangerous. Poisons can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, etc...

Edited by msmike1, 19 June 2012 - 04:35 PM.


#8    Child of Bast

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:35 PM

So you're saying the authorities on that show aren't really authorities? That branch of the Miami-Dade fire department doesn't exist?

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#9    Coffey

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

View PostErix, on 19 June 2012 - 03:22 PM, said:

So you are not scared of an Anaconda and even if it ate your dog?

There is a difference between being scared of something in the way you are saying and having a proper fear or phobia.

Edited by Coffey, 19 June 2012 - 04:37 PM.

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#10    Sakari

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:50 PM

We had a Red Tailed Boa for quite a few years..." Damien "....Had a very large custom tank built for him.We all ways treat animals better than people.

Bought him at about 17 inch's....Cute little thing, fed him " pinkies ".....Watched him grow, took him out all the time, started to feed 2 large rats a week ( dead, not good to feed a snake live animals, infections, etc. )....

My mom would not visit us with that snake there, even in another room, in a large tank, door closed.....

We ended up selling that house to move to another, and we gave the snake to a herpatologist, one we new would take good care of him....He was over 7 feet when we gave him away.

What we learned.....

Snakes, and other reptiles should not be " pets ", they belong in the wild, where they can roam and live their lives.....Not confined in a tank for people to show off.

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#11    msmike1

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 04:55 PM

View PostLady Kasey, on 19 June 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

So you're saying the authorities on that show aren't really authorities? That branch of the Miami-Dade fire department doesn't exist?
No not at all, they are very real and they do exist. I am sure they do a fine job as well. All I am saying is that anytime they take something like that group, and put them on T.V, especially Animal Planet which is one of the worst channels for sensationalism for ratings, there is a certain amount of untruths or sensationalism that goes along with it to make it more interesting to viewers. Maybe it's the words used to describe an animal like saying the "vicious" python had to be removed from the area before it "attacked" someone. You see what I mean. I watch the show quite often, and it can be entertaining, you just have to know what is true and what is for TV.

Also, Coffey, you are correct in every way. Being frightened of an animal because you were taught to be, no matter how ridiculous it might be is completely different from having a true phobia of something. My wife has a horrible phobia of big grasshoppers. Yeah, I'm not kidding, she loves all creatures and is even a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, but will hurt you and herself trying to get away from a freakin grasshopper.

Mike


#12    JGirl

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:02 PM

why would anyone be afraid of a snake?  if it's a huge man eater in the jungle i could see that, but your average garter snake is no one's enemy. in fact they're rather cool

i'm more curious though about people who are afraid of spiders. and there are a LOT of them out there all ages!
it's a frikken spider. step on it if you feel threatened for gawd sake.

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#13    msmike1

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:04 PM

View PostSakari, on 19 June 2012 - 04:50 PM, said:

We had a Red Tailed Boa for quite a few years..." Damien "....Had a very large custom tank built for him.We all ways treat animals better than people.

Bought him at about 17 inch's....Cute little thing, fed him " pinkies ".....Watched him grow, took him out all the time, started to feed 2 large rats a week ( dead, not good to feed a snake live animals, infections, etc. )....

My mom would not visit us with that snake there, even in another room, in a large tank, door closed.....

We ended up selling that house to move to another, and we gave the snake to a herpatologist, one we new would take good care of him....He was over 7 feet when we gave him away.

What we learned.....

Snakes, and other reptiles should not be " pets ", they belong in the wild, where they can roam and live their lives.....Not confined in a tank for people to show off.
I love red-tailed boas, they are very beautiful snakes. Normally very docile as well. Some of the sub-species can be a little nippy when young, but generally grow out of it quickly. As far as the snakes not meant to be pets, I agree and disagree. I agree that any animal really needs to be left in the wild, and being a lover of nature and somewhat of a conservationist I agree with you. One thing to keep in mind though, is that very few of the snakes in the pet trade today are wild caught, or even wild hatched or bred. This wasn't always the case and I disagree with that practice in every way form and fasion. Today, however, most, not all, but most of the snakes in the pet trade are captive bred animals that have never seen the wild and would die if returned to it. I own snakes, I love them, and they are pampered completely, they were never in the wild and were completely captive bred animals. One aspect of the reptile pet trade that I don't agree with is that a lot of breeders will sell whatever to anybody. A 15 yr old kid does not need to own a burmese python. Some breeders are very iresponsible and should not be allowed to practice. It blows my mind that I can get off of this site and go straight to another and order a King Cobra. These are the aspects of the reptile pet trade that need to be looked at. Tighter restrictions on who can buy what, what is imported, from where, and absolutely no wild caught or hatched animals at all. Some states are taking a stance on this and I think it is a good thing.

Back to the fear of snakes, I really think that if people would trully educate themselves on snakes, how to identify different types, which ones are venomous and which are not, the habits of the snakes in their generally area and what types are located there. I believe education on snakes is really the key to curing the fear.

Mike

Edited by msmike1, 19 June 2012 - 05:07 PM.


#14    Clyde the Glyde

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:40 PM

I'll admit, I hate snakes. They're creepy, crawly, and just plain look evil.  Long slithery serpents with poison flowing through their veins.

I kill everyone of them I see.

( Plus, if one of them ever made it into the house, the wife would go berzerk )


#15    GreenmansGod

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:57 PM

I just want to add an announcement.. Those of you who have lost your boa, python, or anaconda we have it here in the Florida Everglades National Park.  Please come and retrieve it.  It is killing our wildlife.

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