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

Snakes active in Georgia

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

May 10, 2004

Albany -- Be careful where you step. This is the time of year for snakes to be active.

Hot weather has South Georgia snakes on the move. We found two victims being treated for poisonous bites.

George, the birddog, got too close to a copperhead. Dr. Charlie Deriso says "There are the fang marks, right here and right here. Not a real big snake,but enough to cause all that swelling."

Georgia's snakes are shaking off their winter dormancy and are now on the move with the hot sunny weather. There are 42 species of snakes found in Georgia. Only 6 are venomous.

Dogs are usually victims of snakebites, but not the lemurs at the Parks at Chehaw. Dr. Ronnie Williams said "This is Sweet Water. She is a three year old red rough lemur. She was snake bitten yesterday right here on the lower jaw. Typical signs swelling."

Georgia Department of Natural Resources experts say snakes are misunderstood. Even around your home, snakes are beneficial and not aggressive. A little caution will keep you safe. Dr. Charlie Deriso said "You need to keep your eyes open when you are walking. Watch the ground. Because they are definitely out and active."

Dr. Williams said "Just watch where you step this time of the year. Especially at night. If you go out to turn a sprinkler off or on, it's not a bad idea to carry a flashlight."

Herpetologists say there is no need to kill a snake if you see one. Most snake bites happen when the victim harasses the snake. Something Sweet Water and George learned the hard way.

Both are expected to make full recovery's, and be back home soon.

On average only 6 people die in the United States from snake bite each year, usually because the victim does not seek treatment.

posted at 4:39 PM by jimw@walb.com