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In the tranquil town of Rheine, the adrenaline rush of a garden owner shot up briefly as he suddenly spotted the scaly body of a snake in the patio roof. Since it was not clear what an animal it was, moved in addition to police and fire, even a reptile expert from nearby Emsdetten. It quickly became clear to him that the animal was a harmless python that had picked a warm spot under the roof. With a practiced grip, the expert caught the animal.
Since pythons are not native to our latitudes, the snake was probably escaped from a nearby terrarium or was abandoned by its owner. According to the reptile expert, this is comparatively common, since the purchase of such animals is not thought of as having a high life expectancy and the size to be achieved. Many owners then feel overwhelmed and expose the animal rather than leaving it at the shelter or other suitable location. This snake was lucky that it was discovered because pythons need temperatures of 25 to 35 degrees Celsius to survive. By the autumn at the latest, the animal would probably have died.
Which snakes are there in Germany?
Although there are snakes in our latitudes, they are unlikely to find their way into our gardens. In total, six snake species are native to Germany. The adder and aspis viper even count among the poisonous representatives. Your poison triggers respiratory distress and heart problems and can even lead to death in the worst case. After a bite, a hospital should be visited as quickly as possible and an antiserum administered.
The snake, grass snake, dice snake and aceslap snake are completely harmless to humans, as they have no poison. In addition, a clash between humans and snakes is highly unlikely, as all species have become very rare or even threatened with extinction.
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Snakes in Germany
The adder is easily recognizable by its conspicuous serrated back drawing. It reaches a size of 50 to 70 centimeters, has a rather stocky physique and is mainly in alpine areas above the tree lines. She loves moorland and is there to discover in sunny places, where she can warm up. CAUTION, she is a venomous snake representative in Germany
The Aspisviper is one of the poisonous snakes. It has like the adder a squat, rather broad physique, slit-shaped pupils and their back drawing is dominated by black stripes. It is 60 to 90 centimeters larger than the adder and their occurrence is limited to the southern Black Forest. The Aspisviper is threatened with extinction
Many an owner of a natural garden with swimming pond could have already seen the grass snake. She always stays near waters where she can hunt for amphibians like frogs and newts. The grass snake can reach a length of up to 150 centimeters, has a very inconspicuous gray body color, round pupils and comparatively large eyes. Striking in her is the black and yellow coloration on the back of the head. It is non-toxic, harmless and is also strictly protected
Very inconspicuous is the dice snake. She gets her name from the cube-shaped spots in her back drawing. She also lives like the grass snake on or in the water, because she is a very good swimmer and goes hunting in the water. The non-toxic and harmless snake is only to be found in Rhineland-Palatinate and, like the other snake species, it is also protected
The snake rattle counts, as the name suggests, to the strangling snakes. She grabs her prey (small rodents) and wraps it around her body until it is suffocated. It is up to 80 inches long, very slim and has a dark back drawing with thin black lines. Striking in her are the black spot on the top of the head and the extended eyeliner, which runs from the eyes over the nose to the mouth. It occurs in warm mountain regions, is absolutely safe for us and is also under protection
The Äskulapnatter is with up to two meters the longest snake in German climes. Their occurrence is limited to the Rheingau, the southern Odenwald and regions on the Danube, south of Passau. It has a dark, inconspicuous back drawing, which often turns into a golden yellow to the head and has round pupils as well as the other adders. She is also unsophisticated for us and is under strict environmental protection
If you encounter a snake in the garden or in the wild, stop, move slowly back and avoid the animal. Find an exotic snake in your backyard, contact the local animal shelter or specialty store. Here the knowledge about the exotics is usually better than with the fire brigade and the police and the animals will immediately come into expert hands.
No snake, but easy to confuse
A representative of the reptiles we still have in Germany, which indeed looks like a snake, but one of the lizards counts: the slowworm. In this small lizard species, the legs have completely receded and just like snakes, she is meandering snake. There is no danger from her. Blind crawls are strictly protected.
The slow worm is not only absolutely harmless, it is also not a real snake. But is also under conservation