Breed : Western Hognose Snake
Info : Edge was discovered on Kinver Edge, a local beauty spot, whilst walking Beanz. As he was literally “in the middle of nowhere” he is thought to be an abandoned pet, rather than an escapee. He is a relatively small snake (at around 12 inches), but an adult – this is only a small species of snake. Edge enjoys handling and is fascinating to watch, handle and discuss, especially when it comes to the story of how he came to join the team here at Critter Assisted Therapy – a story that many people can relate to or have experienced.
Hognose snakes get their name from their upturned nose and are adept at burrowing. They are fascinating and one of my favourite species (I have had 3 over the years) – they have a series of defense mechanisms, which are all bluff, they will hiss loudly and make strike attempts. If this doesn’t work then they will spread their neck out, cobra like, as they hiss and strike. Their final bluff is to play dead – if all else fails and they continue to feel threatened, then they flip onto their back and emit a foul stench, which makes them appear dead. When the danger has gone then they flip back over and continue on their way. Sometimes in times of extreme danger they will resort to this bluff immediately.
Benefits : Therapy snakes give a 3 dimensional therapy experience : From the initial anticipation, and understandable caution (like waiting in line for a rollercoaster), therapy clients find the movement of a snake both relaxing and exciting (like the ride !!) When stroking the snake, they find her relaxing. Watching a snake is really quite fascinating, and invites conversation between participants. Therapy with a snake is amazing for enhancing and increasing confidence and self esteem !