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Old 05-16-2013, 10:48 PM
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Cliff Speed Cliff Speed is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Commerce, GA
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Originally Posted by JEG60 View Post
Since the snake's body is on top of the water while swimming, does that mean it is poisonous? I've always heard that was the case.
I can't think of any physical difference or scientific basis for that to be the case. There are no physical differences between the bodies of venomous and non-venomous snakes. I've seen plenty of non-venomous snakes swim on top of the water, especially species of non-venomous water snakes.

I've kept snakes as pets for decades and have no fear of any snake. I've been bitten by pet snakes (non-venomous) more times than I can count and it's FAR worse to get scratched by a cat! I had a big 7 foot boa that bit my hand while I was giving it some injections (so yes, I deserved it, from his point of view) and it was about like getting caught in some briars and bled more like a shaving cut. It was nothing. Most snakes are completely harmless and if a harmless one did bite you, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. If he bit you on your pants or shoe, it wouldn't even penetrate the cloth. They have tiny teeth.

It doesn't take much effort to get educated on the kinds of snakes we have in GA to set fears aside for those who are afraid of snakes. That being said there are plenty of water snakes that look a great deal like cottonmouths for a good reason, but again they are harmless and serve an important role in nature. A little studying might save some folks a scary moment and save a few harmless snakes their lives.

I used to fish a little trout stream that had a beaver pond on it and little harmless snakes would swim back and forth across it all day. One day I was wading in this beaver pond and a little snake was headed straight for me. Snakes have very poor eyesight, so I knew exactly what he'd do when he got close enough, because snakes will flee when they are able. I know that as a fact from keeping them so many years, but just like anyone, snakes can be cranky and in a bad mood sometimes. So anyway, this little snake swims right up to me and then freezes like, "OH crap" when he sees what I am, figuring I'm about to make a meal out of him. He does a 180 and swims right back to where he came from - having floated on the water the entire time, by the way. Exactly what I knew he would do. Snakes are no big deal once you understand them. You're 6 feet tall, he's like maybe 3 inches tall. Who's the one that should be scared?
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