Officials: beware of ‘zombie snakes’ that play dead

US & World

North Carolina park officials worried some people with a Facebook post about zombie snakes.

…really?

We have zombie snakes to worry about now?

The answer is no, we don’t.

The state’s division of parks and recreation was just sharing information about the eastern hognose snake’s habit of playing dead… But it isn’t undead.

Similar to an opossum, the snake will often roll onto its back, convulse and then lie motionless with its tongue hanging out when threatened.

Sometimes instead, the snake will hiss and inflate its neck like a cobra to try to scare away predators.

This behavior earned them the nickname “puff adder.”

You can relax, though, because eastern hognose snakes aren’t vipers —

They don’t have any venom… And these harmless scaredy cats almost never bite.

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