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How to behave when meeting a snake in the woods

Traveling through the boundless reaches of the Khibiny massif is a fascinating, incomparable event in the life of every traveler. The majestic chain of the mountains, crystal clear lakes, an inexpressible freshness of the mountain air and boundless forests - once having visited these places, you will take away with the baggage of memories for a lifetime. Exploring the remote places of the fascinating Murmansk region you can meet many representatives of the animal world.

How to behave when meeting  a snake in the woods

Despite the fact that the meeting with travelers isn’t common for it, the majority of it are out for scalps. If the meeting with a bear or a wolverine can be somehow foreseen due to their sizes and behavior, the meeting with a snake is difficult to be predicted. It frequently happens that the meeting has already taken place without your knowing about it. In this case you have only to quickly and correctly size up the situation.

Snake habits

In the Khibiny as well as throughout all territory of the Murmansk region dwells only one poisonous snake - the adder that lives in the most parts of the forest zone, almost spreading to the border of the forest tundra. Although the adder population grows very slow and the cubs birth is not fallen on every year, every five years there is observed «snaky boom». According to the data revising up to this date in the Murmansk region and the Khibiny there wasn’t fixed any snake attack to people. However, in no way it suggests that you need disorderly treats the forest walk and provoke the predatory animal.

Snakes are the thermophilic creatures that adore spend all of its free time enjoy the gentle sun beams. Having a good day rest, at night it comes out to hunt frogs, small rodents or insects. If you block its path, and even worse become the initiator of conflict, it wouldn’t not hesitate to bite you. Here you will experience all the «charms» of the snake bite - there will be pain and swelling in the bite site, you will experience weakness, accompanied by nausea and dizziness. The whole hypothec can cause heart trouble and become a stimulus to the development of acute renal failure. Not to put off, as soon as possible you should get the necessary in such cases anti-typhoid serum «Antigyurza».

How the adder can be identified

To be bitten by an adder is a perspective that is unpleasantm. Trying to avoid this portion, you should know how to recognize it in the wild nature (by the example of comparison the adder with the grass-snake). Here are a number of factors that will help you draw the conclusion whether you get into a poisonous snake or not:

• In contrast to the oval shape of the head non-poisonous snakes, the shape of the adder’s head is spear with strongly marked «superciliary arches» coming from it.

• Adder’s pupils present thin horizontal lines with the iris of the eye of the color suitable for the snake coloration. Alternatively, there are grass snakes who have eyes similar to a cat.

• Being nearby the snake it is possible to pay attention to the irregular shaped thoraxes of the adder’s head. Three located on the crown adder’s thoraxes continue with scales. Unlike the adder, the grass-snake has regular shaped thoraxes that cover almost the entire head.

• By the picture on the snake’s back it’s rather difficult to distinguish an adder from a grass-snake. Despite the first one has the back with a set of spots and the second one - a series of zigzags, in dark hours accompanied be the desire of the grass-snaked to be similar to an adder to disguise these representatives from each other will be no easy task.

• It’s rather easy and simple to recognize creeping reptile by length and shape of its body. Adders are always short and thick, grass-snakes on their background look rather long and thin.

• Some difference exists with regard to the scale. On the scales of each type there presents the keel. It has solid form of the adder’s thorax and it divides the grass-snake scale in half.

• When the meeting with a snake is inevitable, try to pay attention to its ventral thoraxes. The grass-snake’s thoraxes goes from top to bottom smoothly turning from light color into dark, while the adder’s thoraxes are dark grey or black color.

• Plus to all you should remember that the adders unlike the grass-snakes don't eat fish.

If you were bitten by an adder…

It is important to know that in 99% cases the snake bite can be avoided if you do not exercise aggression against the creeping reptile. Starting to hiss, an adder provides you a chance to retreat and turn bridle. If its hint hadn’t been understood, it goes for more action.

Being bitten by a snake, you need to observe the following algorithm of actions:

• Before you reach the nearest aid station in the search of the antidote it must be done within an hour, you need to try to squeeze out the maximum of poison that had penetrated in the wound. There are two variants: to suck out the poison yourself or with the help of a glass or a similar container try to squeeze out the poison from the wound.

• On the way to a hospital, it is desirable to take «Suprastin» or other antiallergic medicine, allowing the body react to the stimulus in calmer way.

• After getting the antidote, for a few days you should provide yourself with a rest-cure. Plentiful and sweet drink and total abstinence will contribute to the early fall of swelling.

Having got a good shake, your body in the future will be less sensitive to the snake poison.

How the meeting with snake can be avoid?

You have to agree, that you would have avoided the snake’s attack. It does not need to have the supernormal abilities and deep knowledge of the animal world. Just follow the simple, set rules of travelling on the terrain with the assumed abode of poisonous snakes.

Before starting for the hike, you need carefully study the terrain and the list of its inhabitants, that must be met there. Having fed your knowledge by the information about the differences of poisonous snakes from non-poisonous, the travelling can be begun. Moving throughout a forest area, try to avoid thickets and tall bushes. The movement on the beaten trail and open area increases your chances of a safe outcome of the hiking. If the dense area passing can’t be avoided, before you go, check your path with a stick.

Following the forthcoming route, do not step in burrows and crevices - possible poisonous snake habitat area. With extreme caution you should climb and explore caves, rivers. Snakes are personal to climb trees, therefore you should see before taking hold of it.

Special care should be rendered to the issue of clothing. Long pants and high boots together with closed top will increase the level of protection from the bite. Making a camp, try to avoid the possible snake habitat. In the dark hours light your way with the lantern, at night put your shoes in the tent and don't forget to fasten it tightly. And not for all the world, under no circumstances do not take the snake in hands, even if at first sight it seems to be dead.

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