Written by Kaitlin Oliver, Transforming Lives Trainee
Snakes have captured the hearts of many and struck fear into others. From loving owners who cater to their pets’ every whim to people struggling with phobias jumping in their boots when they see one. Whether you love or hate snakes, there is an abundance of misinformation about them that can be cleared up with a little education.
When it comes to keeping snakes as pets, they are very relaxed when treated correctly. Unfortunately, to many owners’ dismays, snakes lack the brain structures to feel emotion, but do have the ability to trust you. Despite this, snakes can be very loveable in their behaviour as they can recognise you. Pet snakes tend to use their owners as climbing trees and will wrap around them for warmth.
In contrast to this affection for snakes, Ophidiophobia is an extreme, overwhelming fear of snakes. While this fear is uncontrollable for the affected, it can lead to harmful misinformation and aggressive behaviour towards our native snakes. Sadly, this means our misunderstood adders are persecuted by people who believe that they are a danger to them.
The truth is, adders are extremely unlikely to bite and use their venom. This is because it takes a large amount of energy and it’s a waste of resources to do so. Its better used on prey and wouldn’t kill a potential predator fast enough to save the adder. Their bites are painful but rarely dangerous. They are very shy and will avoid you at all costs.
Adders need protection not persecution. If you would like to help our adders, you can buy a ‘Sponsor a Snake’ gift in our Froglife Shop for yourself or someone special.
You can find out even more about the UK’s native snakes on our website.