Behavior of snakes around humans
The behavior of a snake around humans largely depends on the type and breed of snake that comes into contact with a human. There are over 2,000 different varieties of snakes in the world that will react differently when in direct contact with a larger species, such as being approached by a human. The main distinction in how any snake will behave depends on whether or not it is of the poisonous variety. While less than 20% of all snakes are considered poisonous, it is common to worry or worry when approaching a snake due to the minority connections that they are poisonous.
A basic instinct
Snakes, like most animals, have a built-in instinct that dominates their behavior, especially around humans. But unlike many other species of animals, it is believed that there is only a minimal thought process that contributes to a snake’s actions, instinct will most of the time take over and a snake will react as instinctively designed. In poisonous varieties like the cobra, this makes them more dangerous to humans and their aggressive approach to interaction will show up when disturbed.
For non-poisonous snakes like boas, their behavior with humans will be very different depending on the type of situation they are in. Most non-venomous snakes are not considered aggressive by nature. However, this is not consistent with all races and there are certain non-poisonous snakes that will attack without provocation from humans. If the breed of the snake can be determined prior to any close interactions and is identified as the non-aggressive type, in some cases it may be safe to approach.
When in direct contact with a human, a snake’s temperament will reflect how it is treated, which is directly related to its instinctual nature. For snakes that are not naturally aggressive and are not poisonous, there is very little reason why they would attack. No considerable thought process dictates the actions of the snake, so if it is comfortable in its environment, it probably does not pose much of a threat to nearby humans.
Flight or flight
The instinctual behavior of a snake is often to flee an area that a human being enters; the dominant size of a human over that of a snake is the reason behind their instinct to escape from the immediate area. A human will normally pose a greater threat to the snake than vice versa, therefore the snake will feel the need to protect itself defensively rather than offensively and attacking directly.
This can vary depending on the situation the snake is in. If the human directly corners the snake or intrusively interrupts it, then the snake may feel that there is no other option than to defend itself aggressively. Under these circumstances, the snake is likely to strike the human that it believes is a threat to it. While this is not normally meant to kill or harm the human, it is a warning with enough force and speed to scare the person and show that the snake is ready to defend itself.
Non-venomous snakes generally do not view humans as a food source as there is no predatory instinct to attack them. This behavior can change, however, if the human scent is contaminated with the normal food of a snake, such as a small mammal. If contact has recently been made with any small creatures that the snake can instinctively hunt, including common pets such as cats, the scent that remains in some situations will cause them to attack the human.
The behavior of a snake towards humans depends as much on the behavior displayed around it as on the instinctive nature they have. If you quickly approach a snake or create a noisy scene, they will regard it as an attack on it and will defend themselves in the only way they know how. If you approach a snake calmly with caution and in the right way, it will behave differently than it would otherwise, without knowing if it is friend or foe.
Most common snake varieties will only attack if provoked and allow humans to handle them with ease. With other rarer, naturally aggressive or venomous snakes, such as the rattlesnake varieties, they can attack any human who comes near, even if they don’t see the person as a direct threat. Some species of snakes have evolved to be better able to attack without being noticed, while others can be easily scared and distrustful of any intrusion. The behavior of a snake can generally be predicted if the breed is known, but it is always wise to be careful.