Why do snakes bite?

According to a survey, there are around 8000 snakebites recorded In USA annually. This is quite an alarming amount because snakes usually avoid humans and are shy by nature. Most of the victims of snakebites can be treated because majority snakebites are non-venomous i.e. snakes do not inject poison in humans. But it is mandatory to treat all snake bites in order to avoid other complications. Following are few reasons to answer the question why do snakes bite:

• Self Defense:

Majority of the snakes bites are for a particular reason. Most of the times, snakes bite humans and animals to defend themselves. Since snakes are not intelligent enough to distinguish their owner (in case of pet snake) or differentiate the attack move, majority of the times the reaction they show towards the opponent is to bite them. Snakes are shy and less friendly animals. Therefore, most of the tome they consider their opponent as threat and show response as a snake bite.

• Feeding Response:

Some snakes also bite through feeding response. In case human has handled their food and not washed hands, they smell their prey and attack humans instead. This is usually possible if human has a pet snake. Since snakes cannot identify through eyes, it the smell that leads them to food and hence they attack their prey. Mostly snakes enter into human houses in search of food. This increases the risk of snake bite accidents because snakes can crawl through very small openings and disappear.

• Safety of offspring:

Many snakes are observed to bite for the safety of their eggs. Many animals and bird fed on eggs of other species. Mother snakes protect their eggs from such an assault and hence bite in their defense. Such bite victims are usually wild animals or other snakes.

• Threats from humans or other animals:

Most of the times, snake will only bite as a last resort. So if a human irritates or threatens the snake, there is a possibility that snake may not bite. This does not happens in every case. If a human leaves the snake alone, they will eventually go away (the myth about snakes chasing humans and ultimately killing them is totally wrong.) Snake may sense humans as threat and fear. They only attack if a human touches them or pokes them. If humans try to avoid snakes, there is very less chance of snake bites and ultimately deaths will reduce. Why do snakes bite?

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