Eastern hog-nosed snakes (named for their upturned noses, used for digging in sand when they lay their eggs, for digging shelter etc.) are found throughout the majority of The Land Between. Often mistaken for a puff-adder or cobra, these snakes are actually non-venomous. In fact, they are almost blind, like most snakes, and part of their act is to “strike” at you, but they will only end up “punting” you with their noses because they have two larger teeth at the very back of their jaws which they need to hold onto the toads that they love to consume.
In order to stay safe from predators, this innocuous snake, tries to fool you into thinking it is dangerous and pretends that it is a cobra, putting on a show. But the snake is actually only moving its tale back and forth and making a hissing sound using its lungs. And…if that trickery doesn’t work, the next act is “to die for”…literally. The snake will then pretend it is dying and will roll over onto its back, exposing its belly, and will stick its tongue out and play dead. It will insist on staying “dead” too…if you try to turn it over, it will turn over again and resume the act. This is why we call this harmless, egg-laying snake, the drama queen of The Land Between.
Because of people’s fear, this snake is persecuted. People mistake them for a venomous snake (which are only found at the very western fringe of the region along Georgian Bay- the Massassauga) and then they kill them, which, with habitat loss, is placing the populations at risk of disappearing.
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