Snakes in South Georgia are active - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Snakes in South Georgia are active

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June 11, 2003

Americus -- Snakes alive. South Georgia snakes are very active right now. A lot of South Georgian's pets have been bitten by poisonous snakes this week. Recent rains may have forced snakes closer to where your work and live.

Rusty, an 18-month-old Siberian Husky found out the hard way Sunday, when he was bitten by a rattlesnake.

Rusty's owner Wendell Hurst said "There was a snake laying next to his dog house. So I picked up a stick and was going to flip it away from his dog house. When I did the snake struck at the stick, and I guess he thought he was striking at me. He lunged at the snake, and the snake bit him then."

Rusty is doing fine, but while we were at Dr. Karl Dockery's Vet Hospital to see Rusty, seven other dogs were also there with snake bites. You can see the swelling in this dog's face where he was bitten. And this dog's leg, another sure sign that poisonous snakes are active.

Dr. Bob Herrington of Georgia Southwestern State University said "We live in a place that snakes have occupied for millions of years. They can show up anywhere. Even here in town. In Americus or Albany, we get snakes in town."

Snakes blend in so well, you may never know they are there. Copperheads like this one are very plentiful. With their camouflage, in this pile of leaves they are almost invisible.

Dr. Bob Herrington, a herpetologist at Georgia Southwestern State University, says recent rains are bringing snakes out. "We got almost 5 inches of rain in the last week. That put a lot of water in a lot of wet areas that snakes probably occupy, and pushed them out a little bit."

 Rusty is doing better since his encounter with a rattlesnake. His owner Wendell Hurst hopes he has learned to stay away from snakes now, because there are more out there.

 If you're bitten by a poisonous snake, get to a hospital as fast as possible. If you can kill the snake and take it to the hospital,  that can save time analyzing the bite.

posted at 4:33PM by jimw@walb.com