Many people falsely believe that boa constrictors kill their prey by suffocation when in fact it is done by cutting off the blood supply of the victim. If you think about it this makes a lot of sense as many different species can exist a fairly long time without air, but the same can’t be said when they are without a heartbeat.
We used to own quite a lot of snakes and some incredibly big boa constrictors. Luckily for us, we never had any of them try to make us their next meal but that never stopped us thinking about what we would do if it ever happened.
If you don’t believe that a boa constrictor would take on a human then you are very badly mistaken. They can eat alligators in the wild without a problem so a human would be easy. The biggest skill that you can have in surviving a boa constrictor attack would be quick thinking. They can kill in mere minutes so if your thinking is clouded, you don’t stand a chance.
While the chances may be slim, attacks DO happen but how could you save yourself?
The method that you use to stop the snake from constricting would depend entirely on the size of the snake.
1. Unwind a Snake
A lot of people will automatically try tugging at the tail of a smaller constrictor which does nothing but makes the snake see you as more of a threat. Instead of pulling at the snake, you need to unwind it from the tail. The tail is the weakest part of the snake.
2. Tickle the Snake
You can also try the non-confrontational approach which is to brush your fingers against the sides of the snake starting from the tail and brushing towards the head. This action can force the snake to move.
Poisonous plants and animals give off a bitter taste to ward off predators so snakes know to avoid bitter and strong tastes. The constricting reflex of a snake is tied to its biting reflex so if the snake has already bitten down, releasing the bite can also release the constriction. If you just happen to have some vinegar on you, you can use it to your advantage. Tasting the bitterness of the vinegar will make the snake want to escape.
4. Head Under Running Water
One method I have come across repeatedly is to hold the head of the snake under running water. This works as the snake has to get to dry land to breathe. In the wilderness, holding the head under an inch or two of water would also work.
5. Break the Snake’s Tail
If none of the above has worked on a snake then your only option may be to break its tail. Take the very tip of the tail and bend it back into a U-shape. Squeeze it and the tail will break. Doing this will shock the snake enough that it will release its grip.
6. Extreme Methods
If none of the above has worked or you are seriously in a life or death situation then it calls for extreme action. This includes:
- Grab your knife and stab the snake in the side or belly repeatedly
- Jam anything possible into the eyes of the snake (stick, knife, etc). Rip them out if you have to.