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Running Across Wildlife in Paraguay

On our way to a church assembly this Sunday in Alto Parana, where deforestation of the natural rain forest is occurring at 10% per year, we ran across (literally) this rain forest specimen on highway 6 and killed it. Snakes are common here, but it’s rare that we would spot one so big. It was about 8 feet long. This is what we learned about it, thanks to the expertise of Herpetologist Roy McDiarmid from the Smithsonian Institute:

Dear Norberto,
Yes. I know that snake from other places in Latin America, from southern Mexico south to Argentina. It is called Spilotes pullatus (Tiger Rat Snake). As you can see it is a large (~3 m), diurnal, terrestrial to semiarboreal harmless snake that occurs in forests and especially along forest edges. It kills by constriction and eats rats, mice, squirrels, birds and their eggs. This snake can put on quite a display extending its neck and throat and making lots of noise; primarily this is to discourage predators. Often times it will move with its head help up off the ground as if it were looking around. It is a striking component of the snake fauna of South America and should be protected. Hope this helps.

We are just thankful that we didn't meet this intimidating specimen up close in personal on one of our nature walks!


  1. yuck! Jeff has seen a few snake bite victims. luckily we haven;t seen any up close that are alive!

  2. ( DEJA VU )
    This picture brings back memories when I was younger and used to lived in Raul Pena ,and everytime we used to cut the grass around the house or the church we'd always find a snake hiding in it. luckily nobody was ever bitten.

  3. why did you kill it?


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