The World’s Cutest Deadly Snake

Image result for images of boomslang

Jambo, everybody! Mr. Nature here, to introduce you–at a safe distance!–to the world’s most benign-looking poisonous snake, the boomslang of southern Africa.

How deadly is this little charmer? Karl Schmidt, president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, curating at the Field Museum in Chicago, died in 1957 from the bite of a juvenile boomslang sent to him for identification by zoo curator Marlon Perkins (of TV’s classic Zoo Parade). Dr. Schmidt had a very low opinion of the boomslang’s lethality. He died writing down his symptoms so that no one else would make the same mistake.

The boomslang lives in trees and preys on chameleons and birds. It’s a rear-fanged snake, which means it doesn’t have those great big fangs up front that tell you you’re in serious trouble when you see them aimed at you. It’s a very pretty green snake with a cute face. Keep your distance!

Some of God’s creations need to be treated with respect. Or else.

P.S.–Not to go all Memory Lane on you, but I used to watch Marlon Perkins on Zoo Parade–and later Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom–every Sunday afternoon. He had an assistant who was deathly afraid of snakes.

14 comments on “The World’s Cutest Deadly Snake

  1. I used to love watching Wild Kingdom 🙂 Here’s another little tidbit about Marlin Perkin. He was once curator of our very own Buffalo Zoo.

    As for the snake, I’m not sure if it’s the same one, but it sure looks like the same one. There is a slender green snake like this one that hangs around trees in Southeast Asia (Vietnam) that Michael has told me about – a very deadly and beautiful slender little green snake.

    1. Indeed, Florida has, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful snakes in the world. Some are poisonous and some aren’t. The trick is knowing the difference 🙂

  2. Your post reminds me of the song in this video.

    As a rule, I’m not usually big on music videos and this one is as hokey as they get, but the song is a hoot. The moral is simple, sometimes cute can be deadly.

    The main actress in the video is Gwendolyn Gillingham, one of the tallest women alive. She’s quite gifted as a comedic actress and made at least two comic appearances in music videos made by Jr. Brown.

  3. I used to like watching Marlon Perkins on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and I had a cat who always showed up to watch it with me. He slept during commercials, jumped to attention when the show came back. He never missed an episode.

    1. That’s a good point. The deadliest snakes are neuro-toxic and in many cases you either make it or you don’t. They can try to ease the symptoms, but that doesn’t always mean you are going to survive.

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