Sunday, 10 May 2015

Warning to dog owners in the UK after a ranger finds three venomous snakes - via Herp Digest

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 30, 2015
A wildlife ranger was stunned when she went on a country walk and discovered three venomous snakes - including a black adder.
Amanda McCormick stumbled across the snakes huddling under a tin sheet, and reminded dog owners to take care when out walking to help protect both dogs and the snakes.
The National Trust warden found a black and green male, a brown female and a completely black female adder - as well as a friendly grass snake - huddling under the metal sheet for warmth.
Amanda found the group as she was leading a walk through the North Downs near Dorking, Surrey, on April 16.
She said: "Over the years my volunteers and I have looked under many reptile tins, but we've never found such colour variation before.
"The black adder is an Edmond aberration."
Only a very small number of adders are melanistic - the opposite of albino - because their skin contains too much of the dark-coloured pigment melanin, meaning they area completely black.
Amanda added: "You don't see them very often so it's very unusual to see three together, especially of such different colours.
"I've been on this site for seven years and I've never seen anything like it.
"Adders aren't aggressive at all, and will try to escape if threatened.
"Only really stupid dogs are at risk, because they're more likely to approach an adder than a person is.
"If people suspect their dog has been bitten by one, we urge them to seek veterinary advice."

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