Snakes!

:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

So today I was U-biking along the riverside park trail in Sanchong on the west side of the Danshui River just south of Chongyang Bridge, and saw a sign posted right off the bike trail that made me take a second look. It read “小心毒蛇 Watch out for Venomous Snakes”. It was posted by the New Taipei Government High Riverbank Construction Management Office. There were several people walking around the field just beyond the sign, apparently oblivious to the mortal danger they were in. It made me wonder what kind of encounter between snakes and construction crews led to the warning. But it’s also cool that you don’t need to trek up into the hills to find venomous snakes if that’s what you’re looking for.

It’s just liability. Don’t think too much. Loads of people actually searching for snakes often come up empty handed. Certains pros are hot spots, many areas are near empty. Society here has been enabled to a point of entitlement. Now the government is scared of people drowning in even the open ocean. Basically if there is a public roadway to a water source, there is a “don’t swim” sign so idiots can’t sue them for their own actions.

Don’t worry about it too much. Read a bit how snakes live and what species we have here. It’s almost a non issue in Taiwan. Even if you did get bit by a venomous species in Taiwan, the infrastructure, logistics and health care in this country are top level. The best bet is to understand this reality because an anxiety fueled high paced heart beat when bitten is going to be your worst enemy.

It’s a non issue in Taiwan, if we are being real. Food contamination, traffic and weather are way more life threatening in a very literal and meaningful way :slight_smile: if we want to worry about animals, worry about open fresh water pathogens/parasites. That’s where people here tend to get more messed up.

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Oh no, I don’t worry (sorry, I should have inserted a smiley emoji or sarcasm indicator). I just thought it was interesting, since I’ve been on the riverside bike trails and trail run all over on many visits to Taiwan and never seen such a sign.

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No worries my friend. I only quoted your message so my rant doesn’t seem too* crazy :slight_smile: just the reality here, not so much your opinion, my opinion or other people’s opinion. The gov has to deal with a LOT of morons, and this sign style truly alleviates a lot stress on the justice system (courts). I feel it’s just this simple, not so much snakes are in every crack of every corner. Gov just doesn’t want a bunch of whiners complaining and costing the public billions of dollars. Signs are cheaper.

But do be aware if you do see one, get bit, and can identify it.

Easily the best snake site for Taiwan, as far as convenience and photos, is snakes of Taiwan. There are so few medically significant snakes in Taiwan, it is easy for every person to recognize the differences. The site has the English, pinyin (with tones) and mandarin. Frankly, the government here gives loads of grant money for far less of a resource. Much respect to the folks that contribute to that website!

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You can see lots of snakes in Taiwan without looking too hard for. Though 99% will be roadkill.

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I passed by bike there while a medium size cobra crossed. I stopped, held my distance, he turned on some noise, hooded up, then lowered and slid away.

Also ran twice in them close to Hongshulin, once I think a ratsnake, the other time a real black baby Cobra with the most beautiful yellowish back sign.

Moral of the story, they are really out there :wink:

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Had a cobra rear up at me in the garden a couple of summers back. Dog was behaving oddly, darting in and back at something in the undergrowth along a wall, extremely twitchy. I stepped towards her and a young cobra shot out towards me - it had nowhere else to go, with dog, a wall and now big old blundering me cornering it. It reared up just in front of me, hood and all: I teleported backwards about 3 meters. My main concern was the dog. She was clearly instinctively aware of the danger, good ol’ Taiwan土狗, but getting these dogs off their quarry can be a challenge. The snake retreated to behind a pipe against the wall, I managed to scoop the dog up and get her inside, and returned armed with a rake and my missus with the snake-catcher thingy. Managed to gently pin it, trap it (no harm to the snake) and get it in a bucket with a lid while we called the snake catcher guys at the fire brigade. When they arrived they were surprised we’d already caught it, and then nearly let the damn thing go again when they opened the bucket and the snake shot out like a coiled spring. They said cobras are normally not that fast-moving, as they know they are badass - but this one was young and lively.

Fortunately not seen another cobra since then (although a couple of discarded skins, so they’re still around). I pay a bit more attention now and make sure I’m making noise if I’m approaching undergrowth so that I don’t take any by surprise.

We fairly often get the odd rat snake - and they seem to have a very strange habit of staring at toads. I’ve seen this a couple of times: they just stare and stare at the toad and if approached, might move away a bit but position themselves so they can carry on staring. The toads, for their part, do not seem to give a toss about the snake at all. Very odd - has anyone else seen this?

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Bad eye sight and probably not too hungry. Probably just assessing as a toad isn’t a true threat. Various species are particularly curious, like P. mucosa.

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well that’s very interesting, thanks - because in both toad-staring incidents it was indeed P. mucosa!