Our Most Prolific Snakes “There are 52 native species of snakes recorded in Hong Kong. The five most common snakes are the bamboo snake, Chinese cobra, red-necked keelback, many-banded krait and common rat snake." How Many Are Venomous? “Out of the 52 native species recorded, 14 terrestrial snakes and six sea snakes are venomous. Their venom potency ranges from causing severe pain and swelling to death. No single characteristic can distinguish a venomous snake from a non-venomous one—the common perception that all venomous snakes have triangular-shaped heads is unreliable." Which Ones Are Most Dangerous? “A study from a major hospital in the New Territories indicates that over 95 percent of recorded venomous snakebites in Hong Kong were related to the bamboo snake. Cobra bites occurred much less frequently and bites from kraits were rarely reported.” Avoiding Snake Encounters “Unless they are disturbed or are defending their territories, snakes do not actively attack or remain close to people under normal circumstances. Nevertheless, caution should be taken when hiking or exploring the countryside, especially around potential habitats of snakes, in the late summer and autumn when they are most active. It is important to keep your eyes on the ground to avoid stepping on snakes. It is better not to wear sandals or similar open-toe shoes, which provide less protection. When walking in grassy areas or in low light, a walking pole is useful to scare snakes away. Brushing the pole in the grass will alert most snakes that their safety is threatened.” Snake Wrangling: The Official Guidelines If a snake poses any instant threats or enters your home, you should call 999 immediately. To avoid being bitten, never attempt to catch a snake. Victims of any snakebite should be sent to hospital for professional medical treatment as soon as possible. Back to main page.