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  • 1. ==== ====Get This Product with Special Price at :http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PBJPN8?tag=pdf-marketing-20==== ====My friend and I are both avid climbers. This mean that we spend a lot of time hiking mountain trailsin order to get to the usually distant bouldering areas. The long walks are often expediated bywondrous discussions into the nature of things, or by my earnest yet empty assurances that Imgoing to finally start training and bring my climbing up a few notches. More constructively though,our walk-ins are a psyching preamble to the routes we are soon to attempt; the moves of thepuzzle playing in our heads.Nowadays since the recent encounters, as we walk we cannot freely dissolve into a world offanciful thoughts or let the mind burn itself out on its banal ramblings because here we arereminded exists formidable creatures made in the image of their surroundings - snakes. Last weekas I was marvelling at the enormity of my feet as one step in front of the other I suddenly heardMatt beckon, Jay.....look I turned to see a thick brown sliver of meat cruising into the bushes. Hewas just 3 feet away and I could make out the diamond shapes on his back. He had been lyingright next to the path and I hadnt noticed him at all. Luckily he was a non confrontationalspecimen and decided to make tracks in advance otherwise things might have been a lot uglier.Matt was grateful too that he didnt have to carry a writhing and hysterical friend all the way backto the car on his shoulders.I usually walk in front because I dont fear snakes quite as much as Matt, and Im sure if there wasa third person he would be designated the leader because according to him I am prettyunobservant.This sighting of a large cape cobra was a shocker for him, and he had only just recovered from anexperience a month prior when in the same area he had rounded a bend in the path and looked upfrom the ground to find himself locked in a stare-me-down with a big brown seething manifestationof his greatest fear. He was tormented for long afterwards and from then on I designated myself asfront man. Gradually, with the tedium of some walks our vigilance waned and conversations aboutall manner of things began again. It would be a while before either of us noticed that myself thebrave snake spotter with wavering concentration would soon fall farther and farther behind, andstruggle to follow the trails of Matts wind muffled monologues. In these moments of blissfulabandon I sought cruel satisfaction in scaring the bejesus out of Matt by creeping up behind himand prodding his legs with sticks (preferably forked sticks to simulate the snakes tongue) - this isand will always be an endless source of amusement to me.In the last year I have seen several snakes which by anyones standards is a heck of a lot. A whileback while I was living in Scarborough my girlfriend became ill. I began searching the streetssurrounding my house in search of medicinal plants. I didnt have a flashlight so I had to use mycell phone light. While struggling to identify a certain plant in the dim glow the lime green form of aboomslang took shape. I recoiled rapidly, but then realised he wasnt moving. I touched him. He
  • 2. was warm, very much alive and very much napping. I left him without his every knowing of my latenight caress.On another occasion, while hiking up Kalk Bay, about midway up and still feeling strong like aSpanish bull, as I was bringing my left foot down to take my next step I noticed, coiled about 10 cmaway, a fatty puff adder. My momentum prevented me from retracting my foot, but I managed tocontrol its descent to land softly right next to his head. There I froze and watched him uncoilhimself gracefully into the bush. Close call, because puffies are sluggish and they would soonerbite you than move away.I once heard that a runner had been bitten in the Kalk Bay mountains and for survivals sake ran allthe way down; I suppose to get there quicker, but also to sweat the poison out. It is said that hewas completely fine after that. If the puff adder would more than likely have bitten him on his ankleor foot, and since the puff adders venom is cytotoxic, which causes massive swelling and bruisingto the area that was bitten, and could eventually burst the skin open, then surely he would havehad a hard time running with legs that were busy dissolving. I imagine he had at least a few goodwipe outs on the way down. South Africa is home to several very poisonous snakes which comprises only 10 percent of thetotal; the most dangerous being the black mamba with the fastest acting neurotoxin - one bite fromthis bad boy and and its time to put your game face on. In cases involving puff adders, vipers,boomslangs and cobras victims have been know to survive without treatment, but this is rare sorather get to a hospital double time (and with that degree of pain Im sure you would want to!) Generally if the victim cant identify the snake he was bitten by then he will be treated forthe symptoms as they arise. Otherwise, he will be given a very general antivenom with a widescope of treatment.  Contrary to belief there are very few fatalities in South Africa each year. In 1986 fewer than 20were reported (yes, yes... very old statistics). Compare this to the over 10,000 people who werekilled in road accidents, the 2000 from lung cancer, the 220 from lightning strikes, and yes Isuppose more people die from falling coconuts, flying wombats and vindictive leopard toads with agenetic make-up tending more to a leopard than a toad.Of the fatalities reported most are those of rural areas where adequate treatment is a far cry away.The only places the antivenin is kept is in Cape Town and Pretoria, so generally people will betreated without it, but will probably have to suffer the effects of the venom for a longer. Thesymptoms that arise following a bite depend on the amount of venom the snake manages to zapyou with, the age of the snake; interestingly younger juvenile snakes contain more poison than theolder snakes, and of course the type of poison. Adders inject Cytotoxic venom which willcause massive swelling and bruising to the area that was bitten, and could eventually burst theskin open.  Cobras and Mambas inject Neurotoxic venom which will affect the nervoussystem and cause initial muscle weakness, blurred vision, difficulty in swallowing and breathingand eventually paralysis. Boomslange and Vine Snakes inject Haemotoxic venom which destroysthe platelets in the blood and causes major internal bleeding in the lungs, liver, kidneys, spleenetc., and blood may also leak from all the bodys orifices, including minor wounds and bruises.Sounds like a horror story doesnt it! But dont worry, these severe symptoms take several hrs tocome on, by then you should be in hospital playing with the switch on your morphine drip. Heres
  • 3. what to do if you or someone with you gets bitten:Calm the patient down, reassure him, loosen clothing. Apply area with a wet bandage if possible.This will decrease blood flow to the area by constricting the blood vessels. Monitor the victimclosely. If the victim seems to be losing consciousness do the ABC (Airways, Breathing,Circulation)The ABCs:  A = Airways. Tilt the neck backwards, and with your fingers pull the tongue away from the back ofthe throat. Do not support the head with anythingB = Breathing. Look, listen and feel to check if he is still breathing. If  breathing has stopped,give one breath every five seconds.C = Circulation. Check his pulse in his neck on either side of his windpipe, or listen for a heartbeatby putting your ear next to THE chest.Once you have stabilised the situation get help as soon as possible. Do not fasten a tourniquetaround the bite to reduce blood flow. This could cause the limb to die and might result inamputation.Do not suck out the poison as it could spread quicker in the body via the blood vessels in themouth.Do not allow the patient to undergo much movement which will cause the venom to circulatequicker (especially in cases of neurotoxic bites where the venom could spread quicker to the heartand lungs causing paralysis).  In comparison to the countries of South Asia for instance, our humble land has very few poisonoussnakes. Most of Indonesias snakes for example are highly venomous and a pressing concern foranyone venturing out for a stroll into the woods. I only wish that we too shared this same concernfor these mythologically revered beings in place of the fear we live with each day of our societysmoral degenerates.  Well, maybe the fear of snakes has surpassed the fear of crooks in theTokia forest area since they recently released a nest of mole snakes...oh and just in case the molein mole snake belongs to correspondences other than their diets theyve brought in the heaviestoo... a good several fistfulls of puffies and cobras. Id advise those who enjoy walking their dogsthere to do so with extreme care or not at all.Snakes tweak a very controversial nerve in the religious underbelly of our society ... the ancientstereotype of the sinister serpent luring those with a shaky resolve to the indulgence of thedarkside vine of glutiny, will always tarnish our feelings towards them. Christianity belies the moreaccurate and ancient representation of these creatures being wise guides of the wilderness, andsuch as in Native American theology, the bringers of rain. Without the proper establishment of anobjective approach to the things being taught to them, children following Sunday school retain onlythese gruelling images of snakes as incarnations of the devil, and dont hesitate pummelinganything that so much as moves with sticks and stones. This is improper education. Our snakesare a vital element in the balance of our delicate ecosystems. Even a well balanced ecosystem is
  • 4. dependent on the stability of its species number. An alteration in any one of the speciespopulation could be devastating, because where predators are eliminated prey will thrive and viceversa. Snakes keep the rodent population down. Too few snakes, too many rodents and nobodylikes a rat!Well I hope to keep seeing snakes. To be surprised by the sudden appearance of one for me is agift from the great spirit, and Im always very grateful to see that they are still around. I willcontinue loving them from a safe distance and they will always be a thrilling topic of conversationfor us hikers and climbers, and an endless source of inspiration for practical jokes.by Jason Rugerhttp://gypsyyachtmanagement.comArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jason_Ruger