Monday, 7 August 2017

Snakes in full force in high temperatures (Azerbaijan) – via Herp Digest

AzerNews, 7/19/17 by Amina Nazarli

The scorching sun, when the temperature is soaring makes it difficult to withstand the heat, so not just humans, but animals also suffer in the summer heat.  

These temperatures are perfect for snakes to be out in full force and copperheads are the biggest threat. (editor-copperheads? Local name for another species of snake?)

In general, snakes hang out in damp, cool, protected areas. And with people spending more time outside enjoying the weather, it’s the perfect recipe for snake bites.

That’s why with the beginning of hot summer months, the statistics of snake bites cases increases. Since April, more than 13 snakebite cases were reported in Azerbaijan. 

Herpetologist Anar Jafarov told local media that in summer, snakes choose cooler places, so people need to be extremely careful in the basements and dark places.

“As the temperature rises, the reptiles are mostly met in the rocky terrain, and hide under various objects, etc. They are mainly seen in gardens, attics and in water areas,” he said.

Drying up of water sources and construction work in cities led to the activity of snakes. Very often summer heat makes snakes beg for water, and in the hottest temperatures, it is small wonder to see them in beaches.

“As a result of the monitoring, I managed to find out that one can even meet poisonous snakes and scorpions near some beaches. In Bilgah, Mardakan, Shuvalan and Shikhovo beaches there are both scorpions and vipers,” he said.

During the summer season we are faced with a number of wild snakes found in residential areas. Most people are terrified of snakes and this fear is mostly caused by the lack of information and understanding of these creatures leading to dire consequences for both snakes and human.

For the prevention, Jafarov recommended to use special medicines in residential houses and household plots that treat no harm to either human or animals and have just a specific smell.

“To combat insects people use pesticides. Therefore, when using them, it is recommended to refer to the relevant structures. Since unauthorized use can lead to poisoning,” he emphasized.

Azerbaijan is the country where 23 species of snakes inhabit. Some four of venomous and the others are non-venomous.

 Another type of venomous snake -- horned viper, has been found only once in Azerbaijan’s Ganja region in 1845. But after that no one saw them across the country.

The Transcaucasian viper, steppe viper, copperhead snake, and Asia Minor viper [which is listed in the Red Book of rare Azerbaijani animals and insects], are among the most poisonous snakes that are found in the country.

Remember never try to cut or squeeze the bite, or suck the poison out with your mouth.

The snake venom left on skin or clothes is not dangerous. It is dangerous when the poison gets into the blood.

Be careful while exploring and enjoying the nature! Stay away from fallen trees and areas of high grass. Carefully examine rocks before sitting on them.

Know how to distinguish poisonous snakes from non-toxic ones. Dangerous snakes usually tend to be shiny and colorful.

Severe venomous snake bites can cause serious symptoms, such as muscle paralysis and anaphylaxis, rapid heartbeat and may be fatal.

Everyone must have certain skills in the event of a snake bite. So, first of all it is necessary to tie up the wound with a sterile bandage. Otherwise injury can quickly become infected.

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