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The Bushmaster – One of the World’s Deadliest Snakes

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This bushmaster was photographed crossing the Linden-Soesdyke Highway in Region 10, Guyana, South America on the 18th of July, 2021 by a Guyanese Citizen

First Published: 19th of July, 2021 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 6, 2024 at 4:35 am

Known in some places as the Dumb Rattler, the bushmaster is one of the largest vipers in the world. A member of the rattlesnake family, the bushmaster is more dangerous than the rattlesnake on account of the fact that it has no rattle to warn off its potential victim.

Lachesis Muta, the South American Bushmaster, also called the South American Cobra and the Atlantic Cobra, is one of the world’s most feared, deadly, dangerous, venomous, unpredictable, and frightening snakes. The reptile belongs to a family of venomous pit vipers and is found in South America as well as the Caribbean Island of Trinidad.

In Guyana, the bushmaster can be found in interior forested regions and in certain parts of the coast close to jungles.

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Serpentes

Family: Viperidae

Genus: Lachesis

Species: L. Muta

Binomial Name: Lachesis Muta

They say if you eat the meat, you will become a good hunter. If you kill a bushmaster, you must remove the eyes as they retain your image and the other bushmaster will track you down and bite you to death. This is a snake that is never afraid of humans. The neurotoxin will kill even a jaguar in 2 minutes. The neurotoxin is highly needed for medicine. Guyana does not have labs for snake venom, and that is needed badly.

Comment by Mr. Ramesh Alli

The bushmaster is rumored to stand on the tail when striking and it aims for the neck. If the head misses, the tail, which carries a venomous bone, takes a shot at its intended victim.

Another photograph of the bushmaster taken by Mr Manley Thomas in the Marudi Gold Mining Mountains. The bushmaster is one of the world’s most venomous and dangerous snakes and photographing one requires both skill and courage.

The bushmaster is reputed to be an unpredictable and offensive animal. While some other snakes may try to avoid human contact and may not bite unless stepped on or provoked, the bushmaster is known to launch unprovoked attacks against humans. Its venom is one of the deadliest, and most victims of a bushmaster bite unfortunately die within the hour.

I was bitten by an eight-foot long bushmaster when I was 12 years old. I was hospitalized for 12 days. I got 34 injections…almost died…thanks to mom, I survived. I love you mom..

Comment by Walter Bradford
Not sure what is happening here…whether this snake is dead or alive, or under what circumstances this guy is able to hold and toy with this bushmaster snake in this way!

The bushmaster grows to around six to ten feet in length and weighs about 11 pounds. It is characterized by a broad head, narrow neck, and broadly rounded snout. The body of the bushmaster is cylindrical, tapered, and a bit stout.

The bushmaster is a nocturnal predator: It sleeps during the daytime and hunts in the night.

Due to humans’ fear of the bushmaster, most people kill it at the first opportunity. The bushmaster is perhaps the world’s only endangered species which is not protected by law.

So, what do you know about the bushmaster snake? Tell us in the comments section below. And be sure to share this article to help someone learn about this dreadful creature.

Below Are Some Comments We Received After Publishing this Article

I was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Drainage and Irrigation Board and was posted to serve in Manarabisi Pumping Station in the year 1981. During my stint, myself and family went on holiday in Georgetown and returned to the location one evening. I took up the 12mn-12md shift because the other operator leaves when I return to location. While in the maintenance hut, I observed the hunters being led by Frederick Shultz and they asked my permission to enter Manarabisi Canal to go hunting. I agreed and they went and returned, then went back into the Canje Creek to hunt, the next message I got was that a bushmaster bit Freddy Shultz and the crew was trying to save his life, but he didn’t make it. Freddy died from the bushmaster bite. Huntley Mickle had a cut for the bushmaster and he used to make those cut on the Manarabisi Pumping Station compound while I was there.

Ralph Moore

1967…. While diving in the Ekereku area, it was my turn to go for cigarettes at the airstrip. Our camp was about two hours from the airstrip. I left around 4 pm hoping to make it to camp before it got dark running with a carton in each hand going down the mountain. As I came around this corner one of my foot landed on this thing that looked like a motor cycle tire. As I cleared it, I saw this coil of snake. I said, you are not getting me tonight. When I got into camp and after describing it, one old guy said to me, “you are one lucky guy. That was a bush master.” A couple of weeks after, someone killed it and its known that the mate will be waiting there for you.

Simon Defreitas

My grandpa told me tales about the bushmaster, bone-chilling tales too. One of them is he was camping in the jungle while hunting and a jaguar came by his camp side sniffing. The jaguar started acting funny and ran away in fear. Upon inspection, a bushmaster about 12 feet with massive size standing on its tail was near the camp. My grandpa could not believe his eyes as he whipped out his gun, but the snake looked at him from a distance and shook its head as if it was saying to granps “do not kill me.” The snake slithered away. It could have been the spirit of someone who took the form of the bushmaster to save granps from the jaguar.


This article was reproduced in the Guyana, South America Weekly Newsletter for week ending 3rd of February, 2024.

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October 16, 2023 3:36 am

When I was about 10, we went to grandpa’s farm to get provisions/vegetables.
My older cousin by 2 years, said Run, the Bushmaster is coming. .I didn’t see
it, but, we scaled that ladder over the fence, then the coconut trunk bridge over
the canal and left without any produce. Went back home as my uncle was getting, hence the reason for the farm visit. My cousin knew about these snakes and the death they bring when bitten.

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