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There are lots of fears and phobias about snakes, but most are based on fiction not fact. Snakes are awesome, complex predators, with dramatic behaviour and cunning skills. And, they are more useful to people than you might think.

Since our earliest ancestors took their first steps, there has been a looming instinctive fear of something lurking in the grass. And with good reason. Even today, a walk in African grassland can result in a face to face encounter with a deadly snake, like the Mozambique spitting cobra which can spit venom in rapid succession, aiming for its victims’ eyes. But the snakes aren’t out to kill, they’re just defending themselves. Because despite our prejudices, most snakes will avoid humans. Their deadly venom is usually reserved for their prey.