World Snake Day 2018: Conservationists attempt to restore the reptile's status

Only about a fourth of all snakes are venomous, and all of them would prefer to avoid human contact.

After celebrating the World Penguin Day in April and the World Giraffe Day last month, it is now the turn of the snake. Snakes have often got a bad reputation for no fault of theirs, and have featured in several movies, apparently to scare characters (and the audience), over decades.

But this World Snake Day, conservationists attempt to change the popular perception of the fascinating reptiles, and hopefully remove people’s fears and illusions about snakes.

While it is natural for people to fear an animal that possesses a threat to their lives, these diverse creatures -- that live on every continent except Antarctica and can range from several inches to 30 feet long — deserve to be understood for what they are.

In such an effort, the Mysuru Zoo in Karnataka is celebrating World Snake Day today to educate the layperson. Through a press release, the zoo said there are over 3,000 varieties of snakes in the world, The Hindu reported. Only about a fourth of all snakes are venomous and most of the snake bite incidents occur when humans inadvertently step on or otherwise disturb the peaceful creatures, the zoo said.

Even with India's image as the land of snake charmers, the country is home to only four venomous snake species but many destructive superstitions and myths about snakes, the release said. Conservationists are hoping that the events of the day can help remove people’s fears and illusions about snakes, and help them gain recognition as a marvellous adaptable apex species.