Hognose Snake Encounter

This past weekend encountered a hognose snake during a hayride here in Bosque County. These strange-looking snakes are active during the day so you will see them out and about quite often here. When they get alarmed by something or threatened, they will stretch out and flatten their necks like a cobra does. Some people call them “puff adders” for this reason, although they are not highly venomous like a real African puff adder. 
They do manufacture venom in their saliva. That venom is useful in subduing small critters, but it’s not effective in hurting humans. And they do not often try to bite humans so most experts don’t classify them as “poisonous” like rattlesnakes or copperheads.
In fact hognose snakes are known for “playing dead” like an opossum. Since they are somewhat timid, they are often often sold and kept as pets. If you raise them as snakelets, they will become very accustomed to humans and even friendly. 
If you do get bit by one; however, it’s worth a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot and antibiotics. They can grow up to four feet and live up to 10 years in the wild. Some folks who keep them as pets and treat them well can extend this life expectancy to 20 years.

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