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Everything you wanted to know #1: Snakes

… ie, Every Dumb Thing You Might NOT Have Wanted to Know About Aliyah, but I Did and This is My Blog So Here it Comes Anyway.

Here’s my question:

Olim in the north - just curious, have you ever seen a snake? Did you freak out??? Panicking a little here...

(p.s. This picture, taken from Wikimedia, is the most benign-looking shot I could find of the Israeli viper, aka צפע ארצישראלי, aka Vipera palaestinae… benign mostly because it’s just lying around, with no sense of scale, as opposed to being gigantic or deadly or whatnot.)

And in case you’re wondering why I’m worried – here in Ontario, we have exactly ONE species of venomous snake.  The red areas are where it lives.  The green area is where I live.  Far, far away.


So that’s why. 

Here’s the answer(s):

Responses from the five Israelis I know on Facebook:

  • Never ever ever ever saw a snake. Saw a turtle, scorpion (the black one) and spiders....
  • I did :) And I have killed numerous scorpions :)
  • Two neigbbours have been bitten by snakes. Both lived to tell the tale. I've only ever seen baby snakes.
  • My friend's dog was bitten by a snake and died from the bite. I have only seen one once. But we know they are out there....
  • I have seen snakes and scorpions and rodents and tortoises and mammals of all shapes and sizes. When you are out in nature you need to learn basic rules such as the correct way to turn over a rock( finding scorpions) and where and when you might come across a snake( they don't like the cold and they hibernate). The only poisonous snake we ever came across was right outside our vacation condo in Virginia. BTW, cats are the only known predator for snakes and scorpions in Israel and there are many that would love to have someone adopt them. [Note to self:  YES!  CATS, HERE WE COME!!!]
  • never saw one... in the whole week I've been here:)
  • They are here your not  [That one’s from my aging father-in-law in Ottawa, who is just discovering facebook]
  • Never seen one, thank G-d, but they do exist even in Beit Shemesh. A neighbor was bitten once outside our shul. She was treated and survived to get married and have a kid (so far).

There…Aren’t you glad I asked???

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