Gaboon viper looks like a robotic toy in motion

When watching the video, it took me a little while to understand that this was a real snake. The markings on the snake and the way it moves in a straight line and slowly gave me the impression that this was a toy of some sort. A windup toy which you could give for Christmas! However, you wouldn’t give a Gaboon viper to your beloved this Christmas!

This snake is also called the Gaboon adder. It’s found in the rainforest and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa.

It is very toxic and can kill mammals unless the appropriate antidote is administered in a timely way. A young man who was bitten by a Gaboon viper recovered when given “Salmusa” antivenom (Kovax®).

Gaboon viper
Gaboon viper. Screenshot.

Gaboon vipers have the highest venom yield which means the highest amount of venom held in their venom glands at one time. They can certainly kill but the number of human fatalities are apparently lower than expected.

The reason is that they are very calm and slow-moving snakes. And this is one reason why the Gaboon viper looks like a toy in the video. It moves very slowly as if a clockwork windup toy for Christmas.

They are considered to be docile but they don’t make good pets! This snake species has a placid nature and it very rarely bite humans. If you step on one it might bite you. If it is harassed it will raise the upper part of its body and hiss as a threat before striking as a defensive measure.

There are no known predators of Gaboon vipers. The experts say that they are “cryptically coloured” blending in well with the leaf litter on the forest floor. That is another reason why the snake looks odd. They have very clearly marked out patterns with strong black outlines. When they’re moving as in the video it looks like there are many little boxes joined together.

If, by any chance, you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by a Gaboon viper you will feel a sharp pain, there will be systemic haemorrhaging, you will feel dizzy and nauseous and eventually you will fall into unconsciousness and respiratory paralysis!

Steer clear of Gaboon vipers even if they are placid, docile and slow-moving. ??


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