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The season of vipers and snakes has already started. Do not drink alcohol or coffee after being bitten

Who does not know this story. On Saint George, snakes and scorpions climb out of holes. All Jiříc and Jirkov will celebrate the holiday only next Wednesday, April 24. But the reptiles do not understand the calendar and have been out for a long time, because the warm weather woke them from their hibernation weeks ago. However, there is no need to worry. Snakes don’t have it easy right now. This is because the pressure of predators is increasing, as is the expansion of people, which is taking away their places to live.

What does a common viper look like?

| Photo: CTK

Of the whole year, it is precisely spring when the chance of meeting a person with a snake increases the most. “During this period, snakes are looking for a partner to mate with. They have their places where they retreat, and we can meet them in higher concentrations there. After mating, they spread out, each in their own way – female and male separately,” described Roman Rozínek, a herpetologist and executive director of the Herpetological Station in Hradec Králové.

This year’s season did not wait for the date in the calendar and the unusually warm start of spring woke the snakes early. “They have been out for a long time this year, I met three snakes in the last week alone,” confirmed Rozínek.

The heating must not be overdone

But it doesn’t mean that we won’t bother with snakes for the rest of the year. They are cold-blooded animals and like to bask in the heat. In the summer, you can therefore see them in nature, for example, in various clearings and sunny places. “One such test of whether or not snakes will bask is to touch rocks and wood. If they are warm, snakes will climb on them,” revealed the expert.

What is the origin of snakes:


The extinction of the dinosaurs.

Origin of snakes declassified. An asteroid impact played an important role

During the year, you will come across snakes not only in the forest and in the meadows. Reptiles could very well settle in your garden as well. Piles of wood, stones, heaps of leaves and especially compost, which is a source of heat, attract them.

Paradoxically, too high temperatures or drought weaken snakes. There is also a risk of them overheating. “In such cases, they have a mechanism called estivation, or summer sleep. It slows down the metabolism, regulates breathing and saves energy. This prevents dehydration,” Rozínek explained the phenomenon.

Collared snakeCollared snakeSource: Jiří Řehounek

The main thing is to keep calm and provide help

In the Czech Republic, the species composition of snakes has not changed for many years. There are still five species living in the wild. Four snakes – tree, flame, collared and smooth. And the only poisonous species – common viper. But with the development of medicine, scientific knowledge and the retreat of folk creativity, it ceases to be a feared scarecrow.

Most bites are not fatal. “First aid in the event of a viper bite is not at all sophisticated. Today, even strangulation is no longer recommended, and in no case is it recommended to vacuum up the poison,” explained Karel Kirs, spokesman for the Health Service of the Capital City of Prague. The main thing is to seek medical treatment and keep calm until then. “It is important to limit movement and definitely avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, which accelerate blood circulation,” he added.

In India, they found the remains of an ancient giant snake:


Giant snake - Illustration photo

One of the largest snakes ever discovered inhabited the Indian swamps millions of years ago

Basically, only those who are allergic to snake toxin are at serious risk. The downside is that you probably won’t know until the snake bites you. In healthy people, however, the probability of death is very small. Just because the viper’s venom is not strong enough. “The common viper is reported to have a maximum of ten milligrams of venom per dose. The lethal amount for humans is sixteen milligrams. In addition, the viper does not release all its venom when it bites, it keeps it primarily for hunting prey, biting a person is a defensive maneuver and saves on venom,” explained herpetologist Rozínek. The amount of poison that is transferred to a person is thus around three or four milligrams, i.e. about a quarter of a fatally dangerous dose.

Statistics also indirectly confirm this. Between 2012 and 2022 Czech Statistical Office recorded one death from a venomous snake bite. And the viper was innocent in that. In October 2018, a thirty-year-old woman was bitten by an exotic green mamba.

Both raccoon and cats hunt snakes

In the end, the person does harm snakes far more than they to him. Experts agree that snakes, as well as other reptiles and amphibians, are decreasing in the Czech Republic. The reason is also the expansion of human settlements. “Their habitat is disappearing due to development and their food is decreasing. There is also a change in management, there are no clearings, there is less manure in the fields, which is a perfect breeding ground for snakes,” noted Rozínek.

All five species of snakes that live in the Czech Republic are protected. The population of the tree snake, sometimes called Aesculapova, is even critically endangered. In Poohří, the Environmental Institute of the Heart of Poohří runs a rescue program in Osvinov, near Karlovy Vary. “In the Czech Republic, this snake is found only in Poohří, Podyjí and the White Carpathians, the population in Poohří is also isolated. Tree snakes are rapidly disappearing from nature. Cars and pressure from predators are to blame.” he explained to Deník some time ago director of the institute Karel Janoušek.

In the Amazon rainforest, they found the largest known living snake to date:


Until now, anacondas were considered the largest snakes in the world.  But now a team of researchers in the Amazon discovered an even bigger snake.  You can look at it in the article.

The video is chilling: They found the world’s new largest snake in the forest. They also caught a mini frog

Predators are mainly invasive animal species. Northern raccoon, raccoon dog or American mink have fallen on snakes. And cats too. “The popularity of cats in urban agglomerations is increasing and we have noticed that the cat is a huge predator for snakes. In addition, unlike the mentioned beasts, they hunt for fun, not because of hunger. So the number of their catches can be greater,” added herpetologist Rozínek.

So if you see in nature snake, or even find them in your garden, there is no need to panic. You can scream all you want because snakes are deaf. But be sure not to have bad intentions with them. Firstly, the law prohibits it, and secondly… reptiles are at risk. A bucket and transfer is enough to straighten out relations. Or make peace and set aside a crawl space or a snake enclosure on part of the property for snakes. You can find a lot of instructions on the Internet.

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