This week a drama unfolded in the center of Shoham when several dog owners encountered a large black snake lying on the lawn near the dog park in the center of the settlement. According to eyewitnesses, the snake was observed motionless with a hedgehog in its mouth.
Following the unusual sighting, the reptile ecologist Aviad Bar was rushed to the scene, who identified that it was a non-venomous snake of the black rattlesnake species that was trying to eat a common hedgehog. "From the analysis of the situation that included a dead hedgehog in the mouth of an exhausted snake, it can be assumed that the snake tried to devour the hedgehog and as soon as it decided to abandon its unusual meal, it became clear to him the magnitude of the mistake," said Bar. "The unidirectional positioning of the hedgehog's quills did not allow the snake to eject the hedgehog and at the end of the incident both the hedgehog and the snake met their deaths in the tragic encounter."
Israel is home to three species of hedgehogs which together inhabit the entire territory of the State of Israel. In the rich menu of hedgehogs you can find insects, small mammals, birds and reptiles, including snakes.
The Nature and Parks Authority explains that the black whip snake is a species of snake in the Colubridae family and is one of the longest snakes in Israel. The black whip snake is not venomous, and due to its significant appetite, it is considered beneficial as it preys on many rodents, even venomous snakes in its distribution areas. The black whip snake is fairly active and common among Israeli snakes, and like all Israeli snakes, it is a protected species.
In Israel, there are approximately 41 species of snakes, most of which are not dangerous to humans. In fact, only 9 snake species in Israel are venomous. Venom serves them for hunting or defense against threats. While snakes have gained a negative reputation and their name is often associated with traits like cruelty and sneakiness, the reality is different. Snakes play a significant role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitats, helping greatly in controlling the proliferation of rodents and other harmful pests.