ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The African Gaboon Viper: Longest Fangs On The Planet

Updated on March 2, 2013
GarnetBird profile image

Gloria taught for many years, and also worked as a mental health group facilitator.

By Gloria Siess, {"Garnetbird"}

This is a beautiful snake, with impressive coloration. it does NOT do well in captivity and should be left to the wilds.
This is a beautiful snake, with impressive coloration. it does NOT do well in captivity and should be left to the wilds.
Note the shape of the head.
Note the shape of the head.
Sample bite from a Gaboon Viper.
Sample bite from a Gaboon Viper.

If someone asked you what snake possesses the longest fangs in the world, what would you say? The answer is, the African Gaboon Viper. This reptile makes its home in Africa, where it prefers the bushy moistness of the Rain Forest. It lays in wait for its prey, ambushing them with a sudden, shocking lunge. It eats mammals and birds of differing sizes. The female Gaboon Viper gives birth to up to 17 young at one time.

This is not an accommodating pet (even for a snake) but many reptile enthusiasts adore keeping them. They have a thick body, wedge-shaped head, and can grow to be 6 feet long. These snakes are members of the Puff Adder Family. They must be very carefully handled as like all reptiles, they can be unpredictable and territorial. The photo of the man's hand decomposing from a Gaboon Viper bite is a lesson to be learned for any snake handler.

I recently watched an amazing program on National Geographic concerning a Gaboon Viper and its owner. Apparently the snake had bitten its handler and was taken away by Animal Control, to insure the man's safety. The administration was compassionate, however and allowed him to have "supervised visits" with his Gaboon Viper, something I found rather amusing and a tribute to human feats of forgiveness.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      5 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image

      Garnetbird 

      5 years ago

      The photo is of a sleeping snake in its enclosure, I believe. Thank you so much for your visit.

    • profile image

      Mac1 

      5 years ago

      Just wondering if the gaboon viper in between the hand & top picture, is dead? It looks lifeless. I have an interest in venomous snakes, especially this fantastic creature! Their markings are beautiful but they command respect.

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      6 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      so true..your comment was fascinating and well balanced..thank you..

    • jimmylesaint profile image

      jimmylesaint 

      6 years ago from Metropolis of Life

      I reared two of these lovely creatures with their awesome diamondy leaf patterns which make them impossible to see in the early morning sun amongst the forest leaves. They have the uncanny ability to disolocate their jaws whilst swallowing large mice/rats and this is when you see the size of their fangs which can grow up to 2.5inches! We milked them for antevenom and used them for education. When handling we did it very carefully as when using a 3fingered grip the snake can dislocate sideways and bite through their bottom jaw with one fang. These beauties are deadly and not to be cuddled!!

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      I used the term "beloved" somewhat sarcastically as obviously a member of the reptile family is not capable of loving back. They are not mammals or even birds. We recently had a tragic case in California where a young woman bought a Gaboon Viper illegally and died. It bit her when she cleaned its cage and she was gone within 15 minutes. I believe it was on that featured show Fatal Attractions.

    • profile image

      Barry 

      7 years ago

      firstly, only compentently trained individuals should be handlingthese reptiles, with that said there are individual that can and do handle them. The issue is not to believe that these animals " love " you no reptile can or ever will love you. Respect and the sure knowledge that they can and will defend themselves if provoked or startled or stimulated. To issue a ban on all persons owning them is ignorant and only the dullest minds can believe they know best for all for your betterment.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting. I have never met one these but we have many snakes in South Africa, including the puff adder.

      I think keeping snakes in captivity generally is not a great idea.

      Thanks for sharing this information.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you! I'm under challlenged these days; I mostly sell books on Amazon and go geo-caching. Have a lovely weekend!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 

      7 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Yes, they are a lovely and rather unpredictable reptile. I am against keeping these snakes in captivity. They are unhappy and can be dangerous to handle. Also, feeding them is not for the faint-hearted (more for the hard-hearted!) Bob.

      PS You have an interesting profile, must have been rewarding.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)