Welcome back to Pokemon vs Real Animals! I am very excited about this article today as its on one of the most amazing and graceful animals on the planet, the snake. I love how Satoshi Tajiri (creator of Pokémon) has been extremely creative with these two species of Pokemon, just goes to show he really did take his time when creating each of them. Today we are looking at Ekans and Arbok, which are one of the poison types of Pokémon and are very accurate to their real-world counterparts.
Ekans – This is the first stage and if you look closely at the picture you may think, hmmmm resembles a rattlesnake and you would be right. BUT if you look really closely at his name.
Ekans is snake spelled backwards! HA how clever is this guy?! I was both surprised and angry at myself for being such a huge Pokémon fan and I had never noticed this before. There are around 30 different species of rattlesnakes in the world, all of them sharing one fantastic and unique quality, their rattle. Say what you want about these venomous reptiles (yep venomous, not poisonous), but that is one thing Satoshi got very wrong. Although yes they have the reputation of being dangerous when you get bitten, they are not the deadly animals the world has classed them as. Most people bitten is completely by accident, by either stepping on them or scaring the poor things. The chances of being killed from a venomous snake bite in the US is almost zero due to the high quality medical care available. Less than 7-8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in America each year but only 5-6 will die. WHICH means you are more likely to pass on from being struck by lightning than you are from a venomous snake bite. Just think of it this way, we are animals ourselves but do we go around biting people? NO, well I hope the answer is no. Yes we have different ways to defend ourselves, we are able to scream, run or maybe physical force is used (Just so you know I don’t believe violence solves anything) but these animals are not able to speak so they have to protect themselves with the tools they were given.
Now lets look at it this way, drumroll please. How many rattlesnakes are killed by HUMANS each year? Well the funny thing is every time I type into google how many snakes are killed by people each year, quite mysteriously I can’t find the numbers very easily and only results with MORE articles on how many people are killed by snakes. Its not easy defending the reputation of our poor rattlesnakes.
Arbok – Once again another play on words
Arbok spelled backwards is Kobra, replace the ‘k’ with a ‘c’ and what do we get….COBRA. Another beautiful but greatly exaggerated species of venomous snake. The King Cobra, a very striking, beautiful and intelligent….I could go on but then I would probably run out of room. This is another highly venomous species of snake, but please do not be alarmed, most of the time cobra’s prefer to shy away from danger instead of fight it. Throughout Asia, Africa and India different species of cobra have truly made a name for themselves being both feared and respected at the same time. With some insanely stupid and disgusting people using them in snake charming shows.
Snake charming is barbaric to say the least! The snake has not been charmed by the beautiful music the musician plays, but instead has had its fangs removed and sometimes mouths sewn shut (see right picture), since it cannot hear the music it just follows the movement instead teasing the snake.
This act of cruelty is now illegal in India, but sadly it is still practised in some areas. This is one show that can go on my blacklist of shows that includes elephant rides in Thailand or stroking the tigers in the Buddha temple while they are drugged. Amazing what some people will do for money right?
Friend or Foe?
It seems that a larg portion of the population sees snakes as more of an enemy than a friend. Why is that? We are not born with the innate desire to despise these creatures so how do these fears come about?
Wild Science® visit a number of different schools each year to introduce children at a young age to respect and learn about these animals. In a class of about 30 children, 2 to 3 I will find already have a fear of certain types of animals simply because their parents, grandparents and/or other adults in their lives have shown obvious fear to these animals. We need to realise how closely the younger generation look at us to form their own opinion of the world. We need to demonstrate to them the beauty to be found instead of the fears. Certain movies and tv shows do not help either (covered in a separate blog), as so many of us switch to tv and media these days.
Why are they important?
Snakes are extremely important in controlling the worlds eco systems as snakes are a natural form of pest control, we NEED them on this planet.
Remember the key to seeing the beauty in life is knowledge. The more you learn about the things that frighten you the less scary they become.
Thank you for reading this week’s Pokemon Vs Real Animals.