Snakes or serpents have remained as organisms that have ignited feelings of mysticism and fear at the same time from times immemorial. Though they are abound in all places throughout the world and have stayed very close to human existence in some cases, they remain as some of the most misunderstood and lesser known creatures of the animal kingdom.
In one way snakes are some of the greatest and prettiest creations of nature that adorn a great part of the biotic community on lithosphere. They exhibit their presence gleefully with all the colors and views that nature has to offer. Though it is a common myth that most snakes are poisonous and are hence harmful for human beings, the truth is that, only a very small percentage of all snakes are actually venomous and can be treated as potentially dangerous for human beings. So, the feeling of fear that quickly engulfs both our mind and body cannot be said to be a very rational one.
The outlook of the people towards snakes is often driven by age old traditions as well as common mentality amongst the members of a similar community. For example, in south east Asian countries snakes are highly revered and even worshipped as gods. That is why, killing of snakes is considered to be a taboo in many of these areas. It is in fact believed that killing of snakes will strike anger among the gods and they will send ill-omen down to the earth. In countries like India, there are special temples allocated for the worship of snake gods.
Snakes are also responsible for maintaining the ecological balance through their food chain, by keeping the count of rats, mice and other such rodents under control. Thus they prove to be a boon for the poor farmers, a great part of whose crops are destroyed by these rodents annually.
But, it is really unfortunate that snakes are being rampantly killed in some places either through people who seem to be afraid of them or for their hides that are used to make exquisite pieces of dressing items or furnishings. This has pushed the population of some of the endangered species of snakes to the brink of extinction.
On another hand , snake venom has managed to gather sufficient interest because of its potential to cure some of the most dreaded diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, nervous problems etc.
Apart from these, snakes can also make for exotic pets though it needs special care to do so.
Snakes are generally calm reptiles and attack human beings or bite them only when provoked. It is unfortunate that snakes are often blamed for biting people unnecessarily, though the reality is quite different as, it is humans who more often venture into the territory of snakes and not snakes who trespass into humans’ territory.
What is expected of us is to harbor a little more respect in our minds for snakes and the mentality to understand them a little bit more. This can go a long way towards the peaceful existence of humans and snakes side by side.