Puff Adders on the Patio?

The Naples Daily News recently published a statistic that surprised (and scared) even me. In a five year period between 2000 and 2005 over 1,000 puff adder snakes were imported into the United States through ports in Florida. These are big, 4-5 foot long, venomous snakes.

They get their name from their habit of sucking in air to expand their body size accompanied by a hiss that sounds like you punctured a car tire with a bowie knife. They bite, and kill, more people in Africa than any other reptile. They aren’t a particularly aggressive snake but they like to lay still and rely on their camouflage for concealment. Most victims simply step on them.

I suppose we can consider ourselves lucky to have a python problem, not a puff adder problem, here in south Florida. Puff adders can produce anywhere from 20-50 young with a record of over 100. That’d be a real problem even when considering the typical survival rate for reptiles is only 10%. Our python issue is tame by comparison. Yes, pythons can produce as many baby snakes but pythons aren’t killing thousands annually overseas. Puff adders are.

Read full story HERE.

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About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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