This snake den in Canada becomes a huge yearly gathering for red-sided garter snakes.
Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes, in case you didn’t know. This video posted by National Geographic documents the world’s largest snake gathering, creating a worst nightmare scenario for someone who has it.
Thousands of snakes come to this preserve every year to mate and live their lives, and it’s quite the sight. The Narcisse Snake Den in Manitoba attracts tourists from all over, but it seems like the kids are the most intrigued by the snakes.
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“A lot of children are a little more willing to hold the snakes and to interact with them,” says Robert Vendramelli, a member of the Manitoba Herpetocultural Society. “Sometimes the adults are a little more apprehensive, which I think is kind of odd, that it’s almost like the fear of snakes has been built into people as they grow up.”
The climate and geology of Manitoba make it the perfect place for these snakes to live healthy and active lives. The snake den is located on the inner lake in Manitoba; since temperatures sometimes dive 50 degrees below zero, the limestone bedrock is the perfect place for a cold-blooded snake to keep warm. The limestone allows the snakes to get below the frost line during the winter.
It probably helps, in terms of staying warm, that there are tens of thousands of snakes huddled together living in a single limestone sinkhole, “the size of the average person’s living room.”
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The snake den is a safe and unique way for people to interact with wildlife; additionally, it creates a sense of comfort among children when they make associations with snakes.
Manitoba Conservation mans the den and regulates the foot traffic around and among the snakes, so as to impact the actual den as minimally as possible.
Hopefully interactive dens like this will continue to change the attitudes of people around the world about snakes.
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