Mating dance casts romantic light on dreaded snake
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In serpante delictoIn serpante delicto

Mating dance casts romantic light on dreaded snake

The poisonous Palestine viper, commonly found close to Israeli homes, is filmed in glorious conjugal convolution

A man handles a snake in Modi'in. (photo credt: Anat Zakai/Flash90)
A man handles a snake in Modi'in. (photo credt: Anat Zakai/Flash90)

It’s springtime in Israel, and the usual reports of snake bites are starting to surface.

Children are being reminded not to stick curious fingers under rocks, gardeners to be wary of thick bushes.

Hikers are donning long trousers and closed boots before setting off into the wild.

Israelis are raised to dread the Palestine viper, which emerges from its winter slumbers in April and May and is drawn to residential areas in search of mice and rats to eat before it sets out to mate.

But as a rare video filmed in northern Israel’s Jezreel Valley, which is doing the rounds on Twitter, shows, the native viper — called tzefa in Hebrew — has its beautiful side: a mating dance during which conjugal pairs literally intertwine.

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