haven't been bitten.. yet (cross fingers we don't). but we did see a king cobra the other day on Penang right underneath our motorbike (were about to get on it with the snake underneath, wouldn't have ended well!)
it eventually tried crossing the road, and got.... popped!! Snakes don't squish, go figure (was pretty gross though) Reply to this
Not yet!! But i did have to get pretty close to these two with my 55mm lens!
Infact I accidently grabbed the harmless (I think) one on the chair when going to sit down! Almost spoiled a great day in paradise!
Love nature of all kinds, especially snakes; shame about that king cobra, they're amazing creatures, so large. Saw one near Kajaraho(sp) in India on a forest path, it reared up a little in front of me, came up to my waist. Needless to say i beat a hasty retreat!!
Anyone else treasure encounters with dangerous animals? Reply to this
Anyone else treasure encounters with dangerous animals?
I treasure the stories about the encounters to tell later, but not the encounters themselves.
As regards encounters with snakes, I almost stepped on one while walking along an unlit dirt path in Thailand at night, a few years ago. It looked like the one draped accross the blue chair in the photo above. Next day, I bought a flash light to examine the paths I walked on at night, because I thought it may not just be a close encounter next time. Reply to this
I earn my travel $ in the Western Australian desert.Surprisingly after 25years walking around in spinafex ,ect, I've never even come close.I think becouse I'm banging around in my workboots they take off long before I get there.I sometimes see them when working on drillrigs though.The whole ground vibrates so they get confused and don't know which way to run.Once I was digging 20kg creek samples and when I went to pan 1 sample there was half a Brown Snake.I must have got it with my pick without even noticing. Reply to this
gosh this scares me alot! i always assume you'd probably see a snake before your too close or too late (as opposed to sneaky sly spiders) is there a website that will tell you of all the posionious/dangerous animals in an area you are visiting? i have tried to search many times but cant find anyhting of any use. Reply to this
Snakes are my favorite animals, so I go out of my way to find them. I have been bitten a few times, but only by non-venomous snakes and generally only when I am trying to catch them. I almost got a friend bitten in the Amazon when I tried to catch a huge mussurana (mildly venomous) - Luckily my friend was quick on his feet.
I never try to catch the dangerous ones, but I have been lucky enough to find several of them during my travels - There was a 15 foot long king cobra in Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal - My biologist guide freaked out and told me how that same snake had entered the screened building that he used as an office and blocked the door forcing everyone inside to jump through the screens! In Africa I found two different pit vipers - One was a horned viper that was buried in the sand at the entrance of a tomb on the other side of the Nile from Aswan. I was the only person there and I was about to kneel down to look in the tomb when I saw snake tracks in the sand. I got down on my hands and knees and crawled forward until I found him just under the surface with only his eyes and horns sticking out - He was beautiful, but I am glad I saw his tracks!
As long as you walk loudly and stomp your feet a bit when on dark, overgrown trails you should never come across a snake unexpectedly and, with few exceptions, they are not likely to be aggressive when you do find them.
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As far as snake identification goes. You can search online for "venomous snakes of (what ever country you are visiting)" and you will find pictures of the most common and most dangerous (feared) ones, but those lists are never complete - The Amazon websites I looked at prior to my trip only mentioned the obvious three, but there are hundreds of them.
Your best bet is to assume all of the snakes you come across are poisonous and give them a wide berth (unless you can identify it without question). Also, if you can accurately estimate how long a snake is then you know how far away you should stay - A snake's striking distance is about half to two thirds of its body length. If the snake is coiled it is hard to determine its length, so give it as much room as you can. Also, if the snake has a huge, diamond shaped head, big, keeled scales (large scales with a pronounced ridge down the middle) and slit pupils then it is most likely poisonous, though there are several non poisonous snakes with similar features and some poisonous snake without them.
Most importantly, count yourself lucky if you see any snakes. They are secretive and well camouflaged, so you are likely to walk past them without seeing them and without getting a movement out of them. Their venom is their life. If the use it on an animal they can't eat, such as a human, then they simply can't eat until they have produced more venom, so they only use it when they are forced to - Most people who get bitten have been trying to catch the snake or, more likely, trying to kill it. Reply to this
As long as you walk loudly and stomp your feet a bit when on dark, overgrown trails
hahaha, we do this all the time and people look at us like we are crazy, but good to know what we are doing will scare any snakes away, we really don't want to be bitten! Recently in Penang we saw pit vipers in the Snake Temple - we got some good pictures but from a safe distance!
I (Donna) am happy to pat harmless snakes but Neil really doesn't like them! Reply to this
This reminds me of one of my favorite Douglas Adams quote from my favorite DNA book. He's discussing snakes with an Australian expert:
"So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly, then?"
He blinked at me as if I was stupid.
"Well what do you think you do?" he said. "You die of course. That's what deadly means."
I've tramped and camped (and lived) quite a bit in the American Southwest, so I've seen plenty of rattlesnakes and scorpions. In every case I caught just a glimpse of them as they disappeared away from me. Clomping along making noise is the best defense against them. They don't want to have anything to do with you. In my understanding, snakes tend to "hear" vibrations more than sounds, so stamping the ground works just as well as making noise. Reply to this