are over 2,700 species of snake in the world of which around 725
are venomous, though only 250 stock a powerful enough toxin to kill a human with one bite.
however, are likely to fall victim to snake bites. It is the local
population who live and work in close proximity with these critters
- and with little protection - that suffer most.
• never aggravate a dangerous animal in any way or try and provoke it into an attack. This may seem ridiculous, but most bites in the USA are a result of such moronic behaviour. If you see a grizzly bear do you feel you have to throw a rock at it?
• do not try to capture a snake unless you are an experienced herpetologist. Even then three people are really required to deal with it. One person to get bitten by accident, one to stay with the victim, and one to go for help!
when out walking in snake zones, look down and at the the areas
immediately either side of where you will be treading.
• wear substantial socks and boots when wild walking.
• do not lift up large stones or fallen vegetative matter unless absolutely necessary and if you must, proceed with extreme caution. These are favoured places for animals of the biting persuasion.
• if a snake is within striking distance and you are lucky enough to notice it - don't panic! Stay absolutely still. These animals are very quick and may strike in defence if you make a sudden movement. Move back veeery sloooowly.
Severe pain, swelling, discoloration around the bites; later comes fluid build-up, secondary infection, dead tissue, extreme skin and neural sensitivity. This may continue for several days.
If the venom contains neurotoxins the victim may experience nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty in breathing.
n.b. In some countries, such as Australia, wounds should not be cleaned unless the animal has been firmly identified. Medical facilities have a venom detection kit that requires samples from the skin surrounding the bites.
1) Standard and best treatment:
Cut and suck - little chance of success:
To do it properly:
Electroshock - little chance of success:
The venom is a specialized form of saliva and its primary purpose
is to immobilise or kill the prey - sometimes also to begin digesting
the meal before consumption.
The level of toxicity of any particular venom is in all practicality
irrelevant as the amount injected makes the difference. This will
depend on the size of venom sacks, the amount they contain if
the animal has bitten something else recently, and the amount
the creature decides or manages to inject.
countries where most people die from snake bites are India and
Sri Lanka with around 20,000 fatalities annually in India alone.
venom can kill a strong male in a couple of hours, but it more
commonly takes up to two days.
The world's most deadly snakes
Australia: (1) Inland Taipan (the world's most toxic snake but fortunately rare), (2) Australian Brown (the country's biggest killer), (4) Taipan, (5) Tiger, Black, Sea.
SE Asia: (3) Malayan Krait, a night mover.
USA: Water and Mexican Moccasins, Cottonmouth and Copperhead Rattlers, Coral.
India: Russel's Viper, Indian Cobra.
Africa: Egyptian Cobra, Puff Adder and Saw Scaled Viper.
Central/South America (e.g.Costa Rica): Fer-de-Lance