Why are people obsessed with snakes?


Slithering foe or misunderstood reptile? With more and more stories about snakes on the loose. We're going into the grass and uncoiling the complex relationship between humans and snakes... the fascination and fear.

Human Obsession with Snakes

From cult movies to the nightly news, snakes slither their way into our lives in unexpected ways. This summer, in particular, the reptile has dominated headlines -- from Canada, to the US, to the UK.


A Cat Eyed Snake is a rear-fanged snake with a mild venom.
(Photo: HyperViper)

Four pythons have been seized in Nova Scotia this month. And in Ontario, a couple has been charged with animal cruelty after 40 ball pythons were found in their motel room. And few can forget the tragic deaths of two young boys -- killed by a python while they slept at a friend's home in New Brunswick.

Reptile expert says some snakes aren't good pets -- CBC News

Despite these shocking stories, many humans are still charmed by the idea of snake ownership, like Dave Shelvey, who runs Westman Reptile Gardens near Brandon, Manitoba. He has 700 snakes as pets and feels that snakes are safe pets and have killed less people than dogs or even horses.

There's no denying that snakes and humans share a very special relationship. Diane Morgan believes it's a bond that reaches through history and culture. She is the author of Snakes in Myth, Magic, and History: The Story of a Human Obsession in Vero Beach, Florida.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Peter Mitton.

Do you own a snake? Tell us what you love about them? Or are you afraid of snakes? Tweet us @thecurrentcbc or e-mail us through our website. And you can always call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

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