|November 1st, 2008||#41|
Wildlands Inc. of Rocklin has expanded a conservation bank in Sutter County that sells credits for giant garter snake habitat.
The 91.4-acre expansion increases the size of the Gilsizer Slough South Giant Garter Snake Conservation Bank to 379.4 acres. The bank is next to Wildlands’ 162-acre Slough Giant Garter Snake Preserve, completed in 2004.
Public works agencies and developers purchase “mitigation” credits from conservation banks to offset the harm to wildlife habitat caused by their development projects, a requirement for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Department of Fish and Game permits. The Gilsizer bank is approved for mitigation of projects in Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Tehama and Glenn counties.
Including the Gilsizer expansion, scheduled for construction in 2009, Wildlands will have restored over 2,000 acres of giant garter snake habitat in the Sacramento Valley, more than all other conservation banking entities combined. The giant garter snake is categorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species. The snakes grow to at least 63 inches and feed on small fish, tadpoles, frogs and twinks in rice paddies and wetlands.
|November 1st, 2008||#42|
[Another good reason to keep your kids out of public schools.]
BIG SANDY — Two high school students bitten by a venomous snake in class are recovering at an East Texas hospital.
School officials in Big Sandy said the students were bitten by a cottonmouth water moccasin their teacher had misidentified as non-venomous.
School Superintendent Scott Beene said students have been encouraged to bring in wild animals to be identified.
While the teacher was leading the class in another science lab experiment, the two students were handling what they thought was a rat snake. The snake began fighting with another and they were bitten.
The students were taken to the school nurse and then driven to a Tyler hospital. Their conditions were not revealed.
|November 1st, 2008||#43|
My father, who is now in his 70's, grew up in a "town" east of Corsicana. When he and his cousins were kids, they would go to the tanks (that's a pond for those who don't know), throw rocks at the Water Moccassins to make them jump in the water, and then Jump in With Them and swim! They thought the snakes couldn't bite in the water! Their Guardian Angel was definitely with them!
10/23/2008 2:04:35 PM
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Those darn dumb hick in East Texas....they have been seeing this snake all their lives and still can't ID it. The teacher needs to be fired. Although Cottonmouths are somewhat similar to Rat snakes...they have big difference....Like Fangs. By the way the Cottonmouth is the only venomous water snake in North America...leave them alone and don't bring them to school kids.
10/23/2008 7:47:04 AM
|November 1st, 2008||#44|
[corn poop snake!]
Pierce County sewer snake is real
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
UNIVERSITY PLACE -- Sewer workers at Pierce County's wastewater treatment plant at University Place have seen a lot of things over the years.
But they were surprised by a sewer snake that turned out to be the real thing.
The county says a worker performing routine maintenance this week at the Chambers Creek plant opened the cover of a screening device and found a 4-and-a-half-foot-long snake.
When the mechanic, Jason Robinson, poked it with his radio antenna, it reared up. When supervisor Scott Roth arrived to take a look it struck at him.
The reptile, identified as a white corn snake, was removed with a rake and turned over to the Humane Society.
|November 1st, 2008||#45|
i just cant get enough of these... the legless doing battle with the brainless...and coming out on top!
some video of the albino cornpoop snake thru this link
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 1st, 2008 at 07:16 AM.
|November 1st, 2008||#46|
[you know all those indians you see around - the doogas, not the redskins - they're still living in the middle ages compared to humans]
Bitten and beaten, he still managed to save this python
Oct 31, 2008 at 0324 hrs IST
Kolkata, October 30 The residents of a small locality in Howrah’s Domjur, 20 kms from Kolkata, can still recall the events of October 12: a victory procession carrying a gigantic python is not a sight to be forgotten soon.
And they speak proudly of the courageous act of a local youth — Dheeraj Batabyal — who shielded the reptile with his body from a gang of locals intent on killing it. Over a fortnight after the incident, the python has finally found a safe home in Alipore Zoo.
According to Domjur residents, the python, whose slithering presence in the neighbourhood had given them sleepless nights, was proving elusive for months. Finally one evening, the locals managed to corner it.Luckily, Dheeraj was around and he realised that the poor creature was in considerable danger. “I had seen pythons only infilms. I knew that they are non-poisonous and figure in the list of endangered animals. I decided to hand it over to the Forest Department before the people killed it,” Dheeraj recalled. “Already they were poking it with bamboo sticks. I tried to stop them, but failed,” the youth recalled.
Finally he dived and guarded the python with his own body from the blows that followed. “But he got bitten for his pains and we panicked when we saw blood dripping from his chest and arms,” said his brother Manoj.
When the mob realised that Dheeraj would not budge, they agreed to hand the python over to the Forest Department.
The 22-kg snake was kept in a cage at Dheeraj’s house. The police were informed but it was 14 hours before forest officials took it away.
The python, the locals say, had been left behind by a group of snake-charmers who had been camping in the area around nine months ago. “The police had picked up the snake charmers, suspecting them to be burglars. The snakes were released,” a resident said.
Quiet and submissive, 29-year-old Dheeraj is not a self-proclaimed “wildlife lover”. But snakes always intrigued him. And to catch a glimpse of this python, he once waited on the roadside for four hours. “I heard people saying that the python crosses the road after sundown. I tried to track it, but that proved impossible. So I knew that I had to save it this time,” Dheeraj said.
|November 1st, 2008||#47|
[jews figure out how to exploit the legless]
A client in an Israeli health spa enjoys her latest "snake massage" by six non-venomous snakes. Here, large reptiles are good for deep tissue massage while their smaller counterparts ideal for delicate areas such as face. For 70 U.S. dollars, the spa will treat clients to snakes in what it says a relaxing massage curing aching muscles and joints.
Ada Barak believes that physical contact with the reptiles can be a relaxing experience Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Israeli health and beauty spa offers a snake massage for £40
An Israeli health and beauty spa is offering a snake massage for its customers.
By Urmee Khan
22 Oct 2008
Snake massage - Israeli health and beauty spa offers a snake massage for £40
The treatment consists of six non-venomous snakes massaging the client's aching muscles and joints.
Ada Barak's snake spa, in Talmei Elazar, northern Israel, uses California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes and milk snakes for the massages, which cost £40 ($70).
Miss Barak believes that physical contact with the reptiles can be a relaxing experience. She says that she was inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the snakes to be stress relieving.
"Some people said that holding the snakes made them feel better, relaxed," she said "One old lady said it was soothing, like a cold compress."
The size of the snakes depends on the type of massage - the larger ones are said to alleviate deeper muscle tensions and the smaller ones create a 'fluttering' effect. All are the snakes used are non-venemous.
Miss Barak began offering the service at the Talmey El'Azar tourist attraction in 2006 and now most of her income comes from exhibiting plants at her carnivorous plant farm, which eat everything from insects to small mammals.
She appeared on Tyra Banks Show, an American chat show, in April for an episode entitled "Beauty Tips Around the World".
Last edited by Alex Linder; November 1st, 2008 at 07:26 AM.
|November 1st, 2008||#48|
[goofy broad wonders how to upstage tiny-dog crowd...hmm...tiny python?]
Singer KELLIE PICKLER is threatening to spice up the upcoming Country Music Awards by getting her python out.
The pretty blonde is keen to emulate Britney Spears' Slave 4 U performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001 when she belts out an uptempo number with her pet snake draped around her.
Pickler says, "We would spice up country music."
But the singer admits her reptile pet is too small to put around her neck: "She's little... She wraps around my wrist like a bangle."
Pickler insists on taking her new baby python on the road with her - because people leave her alone when she's on her tourbus: "I have my snake cage and my cat and my dog and everybody's scared to come on the bus now, because they know I have this python."
|November 1st, 2008||#49|
- If you encounter a snake, back away slowly and give it 6 feet of clearance. Many people are bitten because they try to kill a snake or get a closer look.
- Stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick leather boots and remain on hiking paths as much as possible.
- Keep hands and feet out of areas you can't see. Don't pick up rocks or firewood unless you are out of a snake's striking distance.
- Be cautious when climbing rocks.
- If bitten, wash the bite with soap and water, immobilize the area and keep it lower than the heart and get to a hospital.
- Beaches residents who need help with a snake may call Stengal at 246-2105.
- If you encounter a nigger, back away slowly lest you faint from the stink. Give it at least 16 feet of clearance. Many people are bitten because they try to kill a nigger or get between it and its fried chicken.
- Stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick leather boots. Niggers like to hide in tall grass to abush their prey, the wily water-melon.
- Be cautious when climbing porches.
- If bitten by a nigger, wash the bite with soap and water, and race to the hospital for rabies tests and antivenin.
- Beaches residents who need help with a nigger may call Stengal at 246-2105.
|November 1st, 2008||#50|
Rare pine snake dies day after capture in Indian River County
By Barbara Yoresh
October 23, 2008
Indian River County Animal Control Officer Ryk Hollenbeck holds this rarely seen 5 1/2-foot Florida pine snake. He captured it Tuesday night near a manufactured home park on U.S. 1 and 99th Street, but it later died from trauma or an illness.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A large, rarely seen native snake was captured this week by a county animal control officer following a call from fearful residents living in a manufactured home park near 99th Street and U.S. 1.
But the 5 1/2-foot Florida pine snake suffered trauma or an illness and died Wednesday, said county Animal Control officer Ryk Hollenbeck.
The Florida pine snake is a non-venomous, burrowing species that favors sandy soil pine barren habitats. It’s listed as a “species of special concern” by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and has become more rare as its upland habitats are increasingly altered and fragmented because of development.
Hollenbeck caught the snake Tuesday night and said he had not seen one in three years.
“It’s rare you get to see them due to loss of habitat and they also have a perfect haven underground,” Hollenbeck said. “But when they are seen, too many people mistake them for dangerous and poisonous. But they’re beneficial and keep down the population of rats.
“They should be left alone.”
After capture, Hollenbeck gave the snake to Bruce Dangerfield, animal control officer for the Vero Beach Police Department. Dangerfield, a locally recognized herpetologist, had hoped to use the snake for educational presentations.
Although the snake is becoming rarer in this area, Dangerfield said the biggest local population of Florida pine snakes is in the Vero Lakes Estates area.
“People think they’re rattlers and kill them. They’re patterned and they can get to be as big around as your forearm,” he said. “It’s a shame because they’ll become threatened.
“They do hiss a lot and will bite if picked up, but they kill rats and mice and are good snakes.”
Dangerfield said the snake found Tuesday was lethargic and may have been run over or hit with something.
“They serve a really good purpose and I just wish people would leave them alone. They’re a living mousetrap and can go where the rodents go,” he said. “It’s too bad people are killing our native species.”
|November 30th, 2008||#51|
[Noble snakes help decrease the surplus population.]
Developing A Global Antidote For Snake Bites: 100,000 People Die From Snake Bites Each Year
ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2008) — The world’s leading authorities on snake bite recently assembled in Melbourne to launch a Global Snake Bite Initiative aimed at raising the profile and developing practical solutions to prevent and treat what is one of the world’s most neglected tropical conditions.
Globally snake bite affects the lives of some 4.5 million people every year, and conservative estimates suggest that at least 100,000 people die from snake bite, and another 250,000 are permanently disabled. [I find this very hard to believe.]
Many of the victims come from the world’s poorest nations, and a disproportionate number are young adults or children – an imbalance which has major socio-economic implications.
The meeting - part of the Inaugural Conference on Global Issues in Clinical Toxinology - aims to catalyse a fundamental change in the way that snake bite is dealt with internationally.
Dr Ken Winkel, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Australian Venom Research Unit (AVRU) and colleagues, will formally launch their model for a Global Snake Bite Initiative at a special session being held at Melbourne Zoo on Thursday, 27th November.
“Australia has had a long great history in the treatment of stings and bites with innovations such as the pressure bandage, but we too can learn from the way other countries manage snake bite now and into the future” said Dr Winkel.
“While there has been an effective treatment for snake bite (antivenom) available for over a century, many countries lack access to safe, effective antivenom supplies, and the cold hard reality is that high costs place antivenom treatment outside the reach of many of those poor people who most need it”.
“Indeed although the snake is the symbol of medicine, globally, medicine seems to have forgotten about snake bite”.
The meeting, hosted by the AVRU and principally sponsored by CSL Limited, aims to set an agenda for the development of an international strategy to implement practical and sustainable solutions to specific problems associated with snake bite, including prevention, first aid, medical education and training, access to safe and affordable antivenom, and patient rehabilitation.
“In developed countries like Australia and the United States the true impact of snake bite is hard to comprehend because it is a relatively rare event, but the reality for the developing world is that snake bite is a major occupational hazard for rural people, and one, which sadly, the broader public health community has neglected for far too long” added Dr Winkel.
For the survivors of snake bite, the future is also often very bleak. Many species of snake found in the tropics produce venoms that cause extensive local tissue damage, and many thousands of victims lose limbs, or suffer permanent disability after snake bite.
Organised by Dr Ken Winkel and Mr David Williams from AVRU, the meeting will hear perspectives on the problem from delegates from as far afield as Nigeria, Kenya, India, Brazil, and Costa Rica. Closer to home, speakers from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar will join Australian, American and European experts to devise a way of reducing the current burden of snake bite injury, disability and death.
AVRU clinical toxinologist David Williams, whose work on snake bite in Papua New Guinea has featured on ABC’s “Foreign Correspondent” and Nine’s “60 Minutes” has seen the devastation that snake bite causes to poor families in a number of countries, and says “It is not good enough just to document the problem; scientists and clinicians with expertise in dealing with snake bite must commit to develop and implement, practical projects which either prevent snake bite, or lessen the suffering that comes from it.”
“In many parts of the world, snake bite causes far more cases of limb amputation that land mines, yet victims suffer in silence, or are condemned to lives of poverty and hardship simply because of a lack of access to early, appropriate treatment, and cost-effective, relevant rehabilitation” he said.
Key objectives will be to seek inclusion of snake bite on the World Health Organisation’s official list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, and to encourage commitment of specific funding for snake bite programmes by the WHO and other public health orientated organisations as has occurred for higher profile “neglected diseases”.
The focus by organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on how improving health can reduce poverty, means that important problems such as snake bite must be included, rather than excluded, from global health initiatives.
“Snakebite is a very serious yet neglected problem in many tropical developing countries, and CSL is proud to help bring together experts from all around the world to develop sustainable solutions. As principal sponsor of this landmark meeting, and with unique expertise in Antivenoms, we look forward to listening, learning and contributing to an exciting set of outcomes that will save lives and help communities in some of the world’s poorest nations” said Dr Brian McNamee, CEO and , Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of CSL Limited.
|November 30th, 2008||#52|
14 snakes found in woman's bedroom in the Northern Territory
IT WOULD be enough to put phobia sufferers in their grave - 14 carpet pythons slithering around in your bedroom.
Northern Territorian Esther Honegger was "horrified" when she found the baby snakes in her Fannie Bay home.
"I thought 'Oh my God, how many of them are there?," she said.
"I hate snakes and as I walked backwards and forwards I would see another one."
"They were everywhere - there was one curled around my bedhead, another around the bottom of the chair, and when I went outside there was one in the hallway, another on the (stair) railing and another on the step.
"It was like I was having a nightmare.
"Everywhere I looked they just kept popping up."
The self-employed driving instructor first noticed the snakes when going to bed on Wednesday evening.
She called friends, who she says didn't believe her, and then called the police.
She was then told to call the 24-hour snake hotline.
Snake catcher Geoff Brouff attended her home on Geoffrey Crescent and managed to wrangle seven of the young snakes.
But the next morning he received another frantic call from Ms Honegger who had found five more of the reptiles in her house.
Another trip back to her unit on Thursday afternoon found another two.
|November 30th, 2008||#53|
[Interesting name of paper from German area in Texas. 'Zeitung' is German for 'newspaper.' Think Times and Zeitgeist - spirit of the times.]
Herald-Zeitung: Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Snake Farm still working to rebuild
By Scott Sticker
November 27, 2008
Workers and volunteers at the Animal World and Snake Farm southwest of New Braunfels are continuing to work to prepare the animals for winter.
The annual preparation took a tragic turn Nov. 15 after a fire broke out at the complex and took the lives of two baboons — Mufasa and Mindy — and three tortoises . The fire also destroyed properly and left workers well behind schedule in readying the animals for lower temperatures.
|November 30th, 2008||#54|
[More on this new study]
Those deadly bites
A team comprising local and foreign doctors have come up with the first ever global study on snake bites, filling a huge vacuum in that field
By Kumudini Hettiarachchi, Shafraza Farook, Ishara Jayawardana and Thulasi Muttulingam, Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara
They are worshipped in some countries and revered in others. But most of all they are feared……..fear being the reaction when seeing sketches of the swirling mass of snakes on the head of the mythical Medusa, the mesmerizing gaze of the beautiful cobra adorning Tutankhamun’s head; the terrifying movie ‘Anaconda’ or even a smoothly-gliding rat snake in our very own backyard.
Strangely, however, though stories are galore and people are bitten by snakes not only in remote areas but also in cities (see box), there has been a yawning gap in what happens at ground level and what is documented. Although considered an “important public health problem”, data were scarce, The Sunday Times understands.
That was till November this year when crucial information has come to light about the worldwide situation with regard to snake-bites.
* There are 1.8 million envenomings and 94,000 deaths per year in a scale of maximum to minimum with the other end being 420,000 envenomings and 20,000 deaths per year worldwide.
* Southeast Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa bear the brunt of snake strikes.
[Snakes hate niggers and gooks.]
The data have come about due to the tedious but meticulous work done by seven Sri Lankan and two foreign doctors over a period of about one year, which saw the team researching documents in Geneva or attempting to unearth hospital records in Indonesia, half a world away.
And their labours have borne fruit in the form of the first-ever scientific study, ‘The Global Burden of Snakebite: A Literature Analysis and Modelling Based on Regional Estimates of Envenoming and Death’ which has found many interesting facts. (See box)
Lanka: High on envenomings, low on deaths
Sri Lanka bags the second place on the list of envenomings, with at least 30,000 cases per year, though the number of deaths, fortunately, is less than 100 per year. India has the highest number of envenomings and deaths among all the countries, the study has found. Why high envenomings in Sri Lanka but not comparable deaths? “We have a good health network in rural areas, anti-venom is available and people have a good awareness on what to do in case of snake-bite,” says Prof. Janaka de Silva.
“This is just a base or foundation study,” says Prof. Janaka de Silva, Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
The team which carried out the study, commissioned by the World Health Organization, comprised along with Prof. de Silva, Dr. Anuradhani Kasturiratne, Professor A. Rajitha Wickremasinghe, Professor Nilanthi de Silva, Dr. N. Kithsiri Gunawardena, Professor Arunasalam Pathmeswaran and Dr. Ranjan Premaratna of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Dr. Lorenzo Savioli of WHO’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Dr. David G. Lalloo of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.
The study concluded in March had been submitted in May and published by the prestigious American medical journal, PLoS Medicine (Public Library of Science) on November 4.
Why hadn’t snake-bite data been collected until this study?
“International experts felt that though it was an important public health issue it was a neglected area because it was prevalent more in poor tropical countries and in most cases those affected were from the rural areas,” explained Prof. de Silva.
There are three types of snakebites – a bite by a non-poisonous snake, a bite by a poisonous snake but without envenoming (dry bite) or a bite by a poisonous snake with envenoming, The Sunday Times understands.
Withered arm of a snake-bite victim
The purpose of the study was to estimate the global burden of envenoming so that manufacturers could get an idea of how much anti-venom to produce and the regional health authorities how much anti-venom to distribute and where to target the distribution.
The gathering of information had been time-consuming. Focusing on the two major issues of envenoming and snake-bite deaths, the team had gone through all the literature on snake-bites amounting to over 3,000 publications already available and also all the UN databases and finally contacted snake-bite experts, ministries of health and poison centres worldwide.
When the reams of information were before them, the team had divided the 227 countries of the world into 21 regions, The Sunday Times understands. Countries having epidemiological similarities had been put into a particular region, and would consist of both countries with data and without data.
“For those countries that did not have data, the figures were extrapolated from similar countries that did have data,” said Prof. de Silva, adding that it did not mean that they had information only from a few countries.
Data had been collected from as many as 135 countries on envenoming and 162 countries on deaths caused by snake-bites, The Sunday Times learns. Ironically, however, some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa like Tanzania which did not have data, were the countries that were the hardest hit by snake-bites.
“Even middle-income Asian countries like Indonesia had sparse data while countries like France on the other hand had a lot of data,” says Prof. de Silva. With a lack of information from some countries, as the team could not come to a result which was 100% accurate, a minimum-maximum range had been worked out.
However, Prof. de Silva says the work is not over, and asks whether people have realized the serious disabilities that snake survivors have to live with.
Have you seen the withered arm, a farmer who may have been bitten by a cobra is left with, if he survives, he asks. The consequences of snake-bite are many, including paralysis, a gangrenous limb, breakdown of skeletal muscle, kidney damage, bleeding and blood-clotting abnormalities and also cardiovascular effects, The Sunday Times understands.
Therefore, the next challenge for the world is to check out the long-term effects and economic burdens faced not only by snake-bite victims but also their families.
Tragic faces of snake-bite victims
Two funerals in one area just a few weeks apart quite close to Colombo, both deeply difficult to accept – because both were for children, a 4 1/2-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl. Both dead after snake-bites.
At the home of the little one the air of despondency is tangible. The swing has been put up and the laughter of the little girl will never be heard again.
That fateful day is seared into the mother’s memory. Back after Montessori, the little one had asked for milk tea while she ate part of the noodles she had taken with her to play school. Then it was time for the mother-daughter ritual of sweeping the garden, with the big and small ekel brooms.
The mother’s face crumples up and the tears flow, as she re-lives that terrible afternoon. As the mother moved away to keep the ekel brooms, the daughter skipped along to see the aunt next-door. Minutes later she was in agony screaming that she had been bitten by a naya (cobra).
Children coming to pay their last respects to Ashanthi.
Blood was pouring from two bites just below the child’s ankle. The mother couldn’t think straight. After talking to someone trusted in the area, the mother was about to take her to hospital when the child was finding it difficult to breathe, with foam seeping from the mouth.
On the way to hospital, the mother felt the little one losing consciousness. “I did try to breathe into her mouth,” she says. The hospital staff got her heart beating but it was a long vigil for the parents after that – 18 days, hoping against hope that the child would recover, but in vain.
“There was no indication in her horoscope of a maraka,” sighs the mother now that the pitter-patter of her feet is heard no more.
Meanwhile, some miles away, there is weeping as children come to pay their last respects to a peer - Ashani Dilrukshi Gunesekera, 11, another victim of snake-bite.
A Grade 5 scholarship winner, she had moved from the school close to her home to Yashodara Vidyalaya in the city just this year.
Her sights set on becoming an engineer, she was coming home after tuition with her mother, when “something” bit her. Although there was no pain, her mother rushed her to hospital.
She was talking and even wanted her books brought to the hospital so that she could study for the tests, says her father Kelum Gunasekera. Admitted to hospital on a Saturday night she was dead by Sunday.
Tragically, these are the faces of snake-bite victims in Sri Lanka.
|November 30th, 2008||#55|
Snake hunting video becomes internet sensation
Updated: Nov 21, 2008 10:07 AM
JACKSON, MS (WMC-TV) - In the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a small group of men squirm through murky waters. They're not swimming. Instead, they're hunting snakes.
It can all be seen in a video the men posted on YouTube. Since the video first appeared online on October 29th, it has already been viewed more than 70,000 times.
The video was posted by Jimmie Nichols and Shane Gibson.
"We had no idea this was going to happen," Gibson said.
The pair both, along with some longtime friends, hunt for the snakes each June near Lake Washington. On a trip 12 years ago, Nichols pulled a snake from the water to prove to his friends they weren't frightening. Since then, it's snowballed.
"That's all we do now," Gibson said. "Instead of going up there to go fishing, now we go up there and catch snakes."
They don't use guns or knives - just bare hands and courage. The practice sometimes looks unbelievable, and is definitely dangerous.
"You need to know, first of all, what you're grabbing, and how to identify them," Nichols said.
"We don't recommend it, period," Gibson added.
"Because there are snakes in the water that'll hurt you if you fool with them," Nichols said.
The group is full of lifelong outdoorsmen, who Nichols says knows which snakes are dangerous. Gibson rolls video on all of it each year, then making DVD's of the adventure for members of the group. This year, however, his DVD equipment was broken, so he posted the video on YouTube to share it with his friends.
Now, the group is planning a new business venture.
"Just a fun day on the lake," Nichols said.
It was fun day on the lake that turned into an internet sensation for a group of snake hunters slithering through the Mississippi Delta.
|November 30th, 2008||#58|
You fuckers are crazy. But, my brother and I used to do the same in Gulfport. Although I would just mostly shoot the snakes with my Benjamin. My brother would actually catch the damn things. Trying to explain this to yankees is useless. They will never understand.
|November 30th, 2008||#59|
Most are Watter Snakes: Banded, Dimond, and other. We have caught som Chicken Snakes out there around the duck houses and swiming in the open. Jimmie catches the Cotton Mouths but we dont video that. Need to be paying attention.
|January 26th, 2009||#60|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Scientists learn secrets of spitting cobras
Process is like a baseball pitcher psyching out batters before a throw
A spitting cobra in action. Scientists have explained the precise aim of a venom-spitting cobra as a two-part process: the muscular wind-up and the psychological psych-out of the victim.
By Jennifer Viegas
updated 1:22 p.m. ET, Wed., Jan. 21, 2009
Spitting cobras spew blinding venom toward the eyes and face of victims with surprising accuracy, and now researchers know how they do it.
Venom spitting — a defense mechanism only — is a two-part process that's part muscle and part like a baseball pitcher psyching out batters before winding up before a throw, indicates a new study published in the latest issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
"Since the venom can cover a distance of over 6.5 feet, and the snakes appear to be very accurate, it is presumed to be a good deterrent," said Bruce Young, an associate professor of biology at Washburn University and lead author of the study.
For the study, Young and colleagues Melissa Boetig and Guido Westhoff analyzed adult, captive specimens of the red spitting cobra, the black-neck spitting cobra and the black-and-white spitting cobra.
Equipped with a special visor to protect his eyes, Young had the indelicate task of taunting the snakes by moving his head in front of them. The visor was outfitted with a custom-made accelerometer system allowing a computer to track the movements of Young's head in three dimensions.
During one experiment, the researchers also anesthetized some of the snakes and implanted electromagnetic leads to monitor a muscle that controls the venom gland, as well as the movements of the snake's head and neck.
The scientists found that before a spitting cobra releases its venom, a muscle contracts, displacing tissue barriers in the snake's fangs that normally prevent the flow of venom. More muscle contractions increase pressure within the venom gland, propelling a stream of venom out the fangs.
The spitting wind-up explained, the snakes' accuracy was still a mystery.
"When we looked carefully at the data, we found that the cobras always spat shortly after I changed the direction my head was moving," Young said.
He added that when he was moving his head, the snake was also rotating its head, winding itself up before the impending hurl.
"This really boils down to geometry," Young explained. "Since I am moving linearly at a distance from the snake, the snake need only make slight angular movements to follow me. Once the cobra starts spitting, it accelerates the movements of its head, and this enables the snake to actually 'lead' its target and spray the venom to where it thinks the target's eyes are going to be."
The researchers further discovered that spitting cobras don't release their venom as a stream, mist or cloud. The liquid poison instead sprays out in distinctive geometric patterns, typically consisting of paired ovals. The scientists suspect this increases the overall area covered by the spray, heightening the snake's chances of hitting the eyes.