The presentation in the Copenhagen Zoo of our only poisonous European snake, the common viper or adder, is one of the fine examples of how to show an often hounded animal to the general public.  Visitors are able to view several vipers in an open air terrarium.  A short description on a sign reads:
Habitat: bogs, heaths and sand dunes in northern and central Europe and in North Asia to the Pasific coast.
  Diet: mice, lizzards, steel worms and frogs.
  The viper is recognised by its dark zigzag stripe.  
There may be large differences in the colour of the adder.  In some areas we find completely black or less often completely brown adders. 
The sign below also reads: 
Poisonous snakes! do not stick your hands down to the snakes.  
A bite by an adder rarely causes death, but it is uncomfortable.

... .  This important news spread quickly (no doubt through Facebook) including to the horses on the Patagonian pampas above.  They apparently thought that someone might want to import adders from Europe to Argentina, and that these snakes would be released on the pampas near the estancias of our friends in the north of Patagonia.

Black Adders in the Zoo of Copenhagen
12 August 2011



If you want to see higher resolution size versions of the photos go to the FB version

A Friendly Brown Adder on 
24 August 2011 in Norway:


Now the brown adder above is not living in the Copenhagen Zoo; she (females are generally brown) lives free in the Norwegian mountains on the northern side of the Rondane National Park.  We were travelling on horseback through the Rondane mountain range on 24 August 2011 and had made our tented camp near the beautiful river you also see above.  One of the riders had seen the viper on the same spot last year.  When we arrived we first noted the skin which the snake had shredded when it woke up after hibernating during the winter. A little later our friendly brown adder came out to enjoy the sunshine near the stone you see on the third photo above.  Then she apparently became aware of us, and quickly disappeared into the bush behind.

In the evening we asked Eilert to sing a joik for us along with other songs; after the joik song in his native Sami language, he then sang a children's song also in his native Sami language:


 The next day the group of riders were to make camp near the Dalholen village in Folldal; on the way the horses got a good chance to show their tölting abilities:



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