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World Snake Day can educate on one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures

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(Credit: USFWSmidwest, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

VICKSBURG, Miss. (Vicksburg Daily News) – World Snake Day, July 16, is a day to help people learn more about the species and raise awareness of the various different species around the world.

Snakes are one of nature’s most beautiful and misunderstood creatures. Though some are most certainly to be feared, many species of snake are relatively docile and harmless.

Our planet contains around 3,000 different species of snakes. They exist from the humid rainforests of South Central America  to the hot, dry, sandy climate of the Sahara Desert.

Snakes take on the role of both predator and prey in the circle of life. They serve to maintain a balance in our ecosystem, controlling populations of creatures that would otherwise become too great in number for the delicate balance to be maintained.

Most knee-jerk reactions to the slithering reptiles are in the form of killing the animal, harmless or not. This negative perspective has caused the snake population to decline in the U.S., threatening our own ecosystem’s equilibrium. While some snakes are indeed dangerous to we humans, the vast majority are harmless and only serve to protect us from otherwise more harmful threats.

Knowing which snakes are harmful and which are helpful is a part of what snake day is all about. July 16 is a chance to educate yourself and those around you on these shoulderless reptiles. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science observes this day and may be the best place to start.

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