Snakes flourish in warm weather

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Hikers and cyclists may start seeing a lot more of Norway’s only poisonous snake, the huggorm, this spring and summer. The relatively small snakes reportedly are thriving in the unusually warm spring, and likely to reproduce rapidy.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported Thursday that the recent spate of warm weather in southern Norway is setting off a population boom of sorts among the snakes, because it has woken them up quickly from their winter hibernation.

Zoologist Torfinn Ørmen at Norway’s Natural History Museum told Aftenposten that the huggorm is “extra active” when the weather is warm, hunting for mice (plentiful this year) and then mating. A single huggorm can give birth to 20 baby snakes at the end of summer, he said.

Ørmen said it’s not unusual that people have been spotting more snakes even during the recent Easter holidays. He said they most enjoy warm, sunny spaces, and thus are attracted to trails, rocks, roads and spots up against the walls of buildings.

Dog lovers should be on the lookout while out with their pets in the forest. At least one small dog was bitten by a huggorm in Kristiansand last week, and needed to be taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

Views and News staff