'Snakes have woken up from winter sleep - and they're hungry'

What should you do if you see a snake? How can you avoid snakebites? Arutz Sheva interviews a professional snake catcher.

Eliran Aharon, Chana Roberts , | updated: 11:51 AM


Arutz Sheva spoke with snake catcher Avi Levi about the recent incidents of snakebites in Israel.

"We're talking about the summer," Levy said. "And if we're talking about the summer, we're talking about the fact that the snakes woke up from their winter sleep - and they're hungry."

"There are a few types of snakes. There are the smaller snakes, which live on insects. They come out, and they look for insects, for crawling insects, for spiders. And there are the larger snakes, which eat rats, mice, chicks, and those kinds of things.

"So the chance that we'll come in contact with a snake during this time of year is higher."

When asked how a person should respond when they see a snake, Levi said, "First of all, leave him alone. Snakes are scaredy-cat animals. We don't deal with snakes, we don't want to deal with snakes. And the snake isn't looking for you. The snake is more afraid of you than you are of it."

"All the snake wants to do is to eat. It's not worth it for him to use his poison on you - he wants to use it on his food.

"When you see a snake, leave him alone. Just call a professional, someone who is authorized to catch snakes, and he'll come and deal with the issue.

"We're talking about 41 different types of snakes. Not every snake is poisonous - even if it has a triangular-shaped head. But at the end of the day, those who aren't familiar with snakes should not touch them."

What should you do if you've been bitten by a snake?

"First of all, it's really simple. Go as fast as you can to the hospital - try to be there within 45 minutes. Stay as calm as possible, so that your blood will flow better.

"Don't bandage the hand, don't put ice on it, don't try to suck the poison out. It's nice in movies, it's not a good idea in real life. Just go to the hospital, get the right medical treatment, and everything will be fine."

Regarding prevention, Levi said, "For sure there are ways to prevent snakebites. If you're hiking, wear high shoes and long pants. Walk on the path, and don't move stones because snakes may be hiding underneath them."

"If you have a home garden, keep your garden clean, and make sure snakes don't have a place to hide. If you have empty pitchers, they're excellent places for snakes to hide - don't keep them around. If you have tires for children to play with - those are also excellent hiding places for snakes.

"If you keep your garden clean, you'll be able to avoid meeting snakes."

You can view the full Hebrew video here: