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.


About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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