Learning About Snakes

Discussion in 'Other Advanced Survival Skills' started by Pragmatist, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asi...s-Steve-Irwin-wants-to-make-snakes-less-scary


    Good morning all,

    Article about a Thai snake expert teaching about snakes.

    I don't think the late Steve Irwin knew about poisonous sea snakes. He didn't know about sting rays.

    As an aside, about 15-20 years ago here in Virginia, the cost to treat a poisonous snake bite was ~ 16, 000. $2K for the professional services and hospital visit and ~ $14K for the antidote serum. After a colleague here experienced the aforesaid, I called the state's poison control center about sources for the snake serums. The young guy answering the phone at 3 AM was a Master's degree candidate in one of the pharma fields. He got me started on my research and learned matter was like other related matters: highly controlled.

    It's not illegal (w/ 2 exception) to kill snakes in Virginia. I've got 'em all over here, to include the poisonous Copperhead snake. When I see one of these creatures, I talk to them with my same line, season after season: "Snake, get the hell outta here or I call Moses and Ricky Tiki Tavi (Mongoose).

    ...

    Snakebite kit
    Plan to keep snake for identification of needed RX pharma
    Notepaper
     
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  2. Snyper

    Snyper Master Survivalist
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    He knew about them.
    His death was a freak occurrence.

    There's no need for any "snakebite kit", and attempting to catch or kill a snake is how many bites happen.

    These days most everyone has a camera on them.
    Take a picture if possible and simply get to a Dr ASAP.

    Few die from snakebites in Western countries if they just seek immediate help.
     
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  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    There are only three snakes that are a danger to adults in the USA. They are all easily identified and usually easy to avoid with the exception of the Copperhead that is, fortunately, the least poisonous. A copperhead will freeze and if you step on it it will try to bote you. They don't warn and so I kill them if they are in my yard. Kids don't watch where they step so the copperheads are not welcome in my yard.

    The coral snake is a gentle creature that has no fangs as such and if you can resist shoving a finger in its mouth is no real danger. The Rattlesnake and the Watermoccasin are both of the nature to warn you if they see you coming. Most bites come from people trying to mess with them or people that make ignorant mistakes like stepping over a log without looking over it first.

    If a rattler sees you he will rattle and warn you off. A water moccasin is called a cottonmouth because the inside of their mouth is snow white. They will throw open that mouth and strike at you long before you are close enough to them to get bit. That white mouth is their warning flag. Like the Rattlesnake, there are rules about where you put your feet and hands when you are in snake territory.

    I have lived in a snake-infested place most of my life and have never been struck. I have been struck AT more times than I can count. I won't say that it doesn't scare the crap out of you when a big snake suddenly makes itself known to you but if you don't panic and back off they will do the same most of the time. If a snake has a wide triangular head or slit pupils like a cat in their eyes they are probably poisonous. If their head is round or their pupils are round they are not poisonous.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Hi Tex. FYI - I figure you already know but others may not. Coral snakes do have fangs, but they are positioned in the rear of the mouth and are small. If bitten on open skin by a coral snake, seek medical immediately as there neurotoxin will seep into any punctures and even small amounts can stop breathing and heart. Their toxin is similar to a cobras.
      I do know for a fact, not all rattlesnakes rattle before striking. I almost stepped on a diamondback in southern Florida in 83'and still have the scars. I got lucky and it was a dry bite. He never made a sound. I just felt a stabbing pain in my leg, looked down and could see a snake hanging on my leg.

      Dale
       
      Dalewick, Apr 23, 2020
  4. Snyper

    Snyper Master Survivalist
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    I once put both feet in the middle of a Copperhead about 3-4 feet long.

    That's when I discovered I had the ability to jump 5 feet straight up and 8 feet to one side in the blink of an eye.

    The only reason I wasn't bitten is the weather was cool and he was moving slowly.
     
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  5. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    To determine if a snake is poisonous look at his eyes . If the pupils are round , it is not poisonous . If the pupils are slanted it is poisonous . Poisonous snakes have two upper fangs . Non poisonous snakes have rows of teeth but no fangs . ---Oops just saw where I repeated some of the same things Tex said .
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  6. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Snyper,

    My snakebite kit is not a Boy Scout razor blade and suction pump in a belt pouch.

    My care-giver (not Medicare-funded) is an M.D. although not licensed to practice in Virginia, except allowed during declared emergencies. Believe other states use this same law/regulation.

    We've got some RX serums and the related anti-infection medicines.
     
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  7. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning TexDanm,

    True, but all snakebites must be attended to.

    The big problem now is that we have a large and fast-growing older population with the related weakened immune systems and various aging ailments. Even the non-poisonous cause the infections resulting in complications if not addressed.

    Still, I do 2 things:
    1. Call Moses and Ricki Tiki Tavi, the mongoose (Rudledge Kipling story)
    2. I spray my work area with ammonia where these creatures allow me to trespass on their land.

    As an aside;

    For the prepper/survivalist, I teach to carry one's immunization record (CDC 731 pamphlet is best IMO [but being phased out]) in a ZipLoc type of pouch in front pocket AND place on top any recent receipt from eg CVS/Rite Aid, Walgreens, where one recently got a flu shot, a DPT update shot ... any shot that weakens the immune system. If in GOOD evac mode and unconscious, some Responder will know how best to treat the snakebite because of the victim/patient's pre-existing weakened immunize system.
     
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  8. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Poltiregist,

    2 presumptions must be addressed:

    1. good visibility usually meaning daylight
    2. good vision
     
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  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    we've only got one poisonous snake in the UK and that's the Adder and i'm not sure even that would kill you.
     
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  10. Snyper

    Snyper Master Survivalist
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    Snakes aren't "poisonous". Most are perfectly safe to eat.

    They are "venomous" though, since they can inject you with toxic substances.

    https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-venomous-and-poisonous
     
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  11. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Snyper,

    Irony of ironies. Poltiregist is a retired biologist.

    Obviously he knows his audience here has few biologists.

    I do much volunteer field work with medical doctors, dentists, paramedics and - animal control officers. It's common enough to hear the use of the 2 terms as synonyms.

    It's not just the poisonous versus venomous terms. Consider the terms "mash" and "swamp". They do not have complete, definitive definitions. The engineers use one definition and the topographers use another. At one time, in one professional segment of our society, one term was for fresh water and other term was seawater or brackish water. Still, we now have "wetlands".

    There's even a change of meanings to terms like "aquatic" and "marine". At one time, when I was a "user" of maps, charts and some briefings (actually for coffee breaks; I already knew the talking points), "aquatic" meant fresh water. Marine meant seawater.

    /s/ Prag

    First in piece
    First in war
    Last in knowledge of homonyms
     
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  12. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    IMHO The best way to learn about snakes is to eat them before they eat you (if they big enough) or attack you.

    Also keep in mind snake venom came in several flavours, and each of them require specific treatment. Although there is certain species such as King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) have sufficiently lethal venom that will kill adult human in just few minutes, and the worse of all due to their size they don't typically intimidated by the presence of a hairless bipedal monkey.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      I learned to HATE king cobras. Got chased by a 12 foot female once and that was more than enough, but no where near the last experience I had with that species. Got to see a 16 foot long king cobra in a rice paddy. I couldn't hardly believe it when that snake raised up 8 feet in the air and flared it's hood. Asian snakes are in a completely different group than American snakes. Lots of bad memories about Asian snakes. Watched 2 different guys die from snake bite. Bad way to die.
       
      Dalewick, Apr 23, 2020
    2. varuna
      My best guess of the situation is, the female one was most likely merely protecting her nest + eggs. While the one at paddy field (most likely male) was felt being cornered by your presence and issue a challenge.
       
      varuna, Apr 23, 2020
    3. Dalewick
      I was on point and almost fell on her nest. She of course, objected. I ran for my life. LOL! A buddy shot her as she was escorting me back down the mountain. The male got concerned over a couple kids leading a water buffalo, what we could only guess was to close. The boys father and uncles chased the snake away from there fields and village while we watched from a "safe" distance. To this day that is the largest venomous snake I have ever seen and that includes in zoos. One of our training areas in the Philippines had a King Cobra that was estimated to have been between 24 to 25 feet long. I was happy to have never seen it. It killed a U.S. Marine.
       
      Dalewick, Apr 24, 2020
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    4. varuna
      I always believe that infantry unit that went patrolling in the jungle environment should have 2 shotgun at platoon level for dealing with critters. 5.56mm doesn't do well against most jungle critters
       
      varuna, Apr 24, 2020
    5. Dalewick
      My team always had one for the six of us. Usually carried by the 3rd man back. Rifles and pistols are terrible ideas for protection from jungle wildlife. Everything out there from Tigers and wild elephants to the smaller vipers. I've seen centipedes and rats that I probably should have shot.
       
      Dalewick, Apr 24, 2020
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  13. EarlyMarksman

    EarlyMarksman Expert Member
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    I remember walking with my dad one day at my grandad's house and I saw what I thought was a dead, baby snake. Walked right up to it and put my boot right next to it and that's when I saw it's head looking up. Jumped back pretty quick. It was a copperhead, so that wouldn't have been fun at all. Grabbed a shovel and took care of it.

    On a hike earlier this spring we were walking and just to my left I saw an Eastern Ribbon slithering behind a rock. Could've stuck my hand out and grabbed it. Sure they aren't venomous but it shows how close you can get to one before it's too late.
     
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  14. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    I know some of them are good, but in my mind I lump them all together. I will leave the Black Snakes alone. The rest I will kill; cut the head off; and bury it. If we are in that desperate a situation I will skin it and cook it for dinner.
     
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  15. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Is the king cobra the same species as the hooded cobra ?
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Cobras are in the family Elapidae and while many have hoods not all do. The King Cobra "Ophiophagus Hannah" is the largest species of the cobra family. They are very wide spread and look very different from when the are young to when they become adults.
       

      Attached Files:

      Dalewick, Apr 24, 2020
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  16. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Dale,

    Well received.

    Thank you for clarifying / confirming all not hooded.

    Interesting map.
     
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  17. varuna

    varuna Tree killer & a cat person
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    Different altogether. In fact King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is not even consider a real cobra. Furthermore King Cobra diet consist mostly of another snake which may include the large Reticulated Python or other true cobras.

    Example of a true cobra. This one is Javan spitting cobra (Naja sputatrix)

    45124150c8db2558fed48a8bca39b4ff.jpeg

    King Cobra preying upon Javan Spitting cobra

     
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  18. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Varuna,

    Thank you.

    The pictures are super !
     
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