Are Snakes Aggressive?

“Snakes look scary for us and we look scary for the snake! Always try to see yourself from the eyes of others!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

Are Snakes Aggressive?

Many people seem to be under the impression that snakes are aggressive animals and this belief is further fuels by horror movies and stories of snakes sending people to the hospitals. The truth is that snakes aren’t aggressive; they are defensive.

For starters, it’s important to understand the difference between aggressive and defensive behavior because sometimes they might seem similar. It boils down to the reason for that behavior. 

Aggressive behavior in animals often originates from territoriality. This can be seen in many animals, though a very good example is how hippos are known to attack people that get too close to their territory. Oftentimes, animals that are territorial feel provoked and will lash out to keep their territory safe. 

Other times when an animal will be aggressive is when it is hunting potential prey. Their intention is to subdue the prey item so they can eat it to survive. They aren’t attacking because they are mean or because they don’t like that particular animal; they are doing so in order to survive. So if you are a mouse, just avoid the snake and don’t even ask “are snakes aggressive?”

Let’s take a look at defensive behavior now. Defensive behavior, on the other hand, originates from feeling threatened or in danger. It is a form of self-preservation. They are doing what they feel is needed in order to survive. The honest truth is that most snakes are terrified of humans, including many venomous snakes such as Rattlesnakes and Cotton Mouth snakes. The reason they display their defense mechanisms, such as rattling their tails or opening their mouths, is to try and scare the potential threat away.

Snakes have a wide variety of defensive displays ranging from strikes, tail rattling, flattening their bodies, to even playing dead. At the end of the day, they all are trying to accomplish the same thing: to be left alone. Snakes think that you are a predator and that you are going to eat them, so they will do everything they can to get you to leave them alone so they can be safe again. 

Hopefully, this will shed some light on the truth about snakes and reassure people that if they see a snake, it won’t hunt you down and try to sneak into your bed at night. It’s more afraid of you than you are of it. 


So next time that you hear someone ask you “are snakes aggressive?”, you can tell them that they are just trying to defend themselves. After all, the world can be a scary place when you have no arms or legs. 

Jordin Machado


Jordin Machado

Always strive to do better in every part of your life.


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