West African gaboon viper in exhibit

West African Gaboon Viper

Scientific Name

Bitis gabonica rhinoceros

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Range

West Africa

Habitat

Humid forests and savannas

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
West African gaboon viper in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

West African gaboon vipers have a triangular head and distrinct horn-like scales above their nostrils. The color of their ridged scales vary from brown to purple, and they have an intricate symmetrical design pattern along their body that resembles a line of yellow hourglasses. They primarily eat small mammals, rodents, ground-dwelling birds, frogs, and toads.

Interesting Fact 1

West African gaboon vipers use their fangs to inject their prey with toxic, immobilziing venom.

Interesting Fact 2

Gaboon vipers have two-inch-long fangs, the longest fangs of any venomous snake

Animal Care staff working with seal

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