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Scientific Name:
Bitis gabonica

Conservation Status:
Common

Where to see them:
World of Reptiles (Center section, south side)

Fun Facts:

  • Gaboon vipers have the longest fangs of any venomous snake.
  • The snakes’ heavy bodies help them get a fast strike when capturing prey. 
  • Gaboon vipers are ambush predators that use cryptic colors to hide in leaf litter.


Gaboon Viper

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Size
Length is four to seven feet; weight is 18 to 25 pounds.

Range
Central African rainforests

Habitat
Tropical rainforest

Lifestyle
Gaboon vipers are solitary animals that only come together for breeding. They can usually be found around coffee plantations where food is more prevalent, and they typically move from place to place searching for a suitable ambush location.

Food
Gaboon vipers will eat a variety of foods, including frogs, lizards and rodents.

Life Cycle
Gaboon are only five to seven inches long at birth. They mature at about 3 to 5 years of age. Males average three to four feet; females are longer at four to six feet. Breeding usually takes place during the dry season when food is less prevalent. Females give birth to 30 to 50 live young during the rainy season. There is no parental care, as babies immediately disperse and begin their solitary lives.

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Gaboon vipers have a very large range and share their habitat with many diverse African species.

Population Status & Threats
Gaboon vipers have many predators as babies, including fish, birds, and even lizards or cats, but their most ferocious predator is still the human population that shares their habitat. Gaboon vipers are killed out of fear and for meat.