Archive for August 23rd, 2007

Leave ’em Alone: Avoiding Snake Bite

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Of the four most common venomous snakes in Texas — Copperheads, Rattlesnakes, Cottonmouths, and Coral snakes – we come across one species more than others.

Probably the Western Diamond Back rattlesnake because it is so widespread and very abundant in many places. It also gets large and can be aggressive.

We asked herpetologist, Andy Price, if he would give us the first rule of human/snake encounters.

Yeah… leave it alone.

Although venomous snake bites are rare, they result in an average of 2 to 3 deaths annually statewide.

Emergency medical folks tell us that about half of the snake bites that occur are what they call ‘illegitimate bites,’ which means people have been messing around with them in one fashion or another. For those that are legitimate, the best thing to do is go get treated at a medical facility as quickly as you can.

Even people receiving so-called “illegitimate” snake bites should seek treatment. What’s another way to avoid snake bites? Get to know what they look like and where they live — and always remain aware when outdoors.

Most of those bites occur when people aren’t watching what they’re doing, basically. Stepping over a log and not seeing what’s on the other side. Putting their hands or feet somewhere where they can’t see, like in a crevasse. Some people are bitten when they reach under plants for one reason of another.

That’s our show…with research and writing help from Loren Seeger… for Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti