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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Death is around every corner

At El Danto I encountered several deadly snakes each day as I walked the through the forest to my bird survey sites. Indeed, an Emerald Palm Viper (small, green, but with enough oomph to kill you in a few hours) took up residence just a stones’ throw from my hammock and stayed for several days.

Sounds dangerous doesn’t it? Fortunately, most of the venemous snakes here are rather lazy and don’t actively pursue prey. They sit and wait until their prey conveinently strolls past them, then one bite does the trick, wait for the beast to die, then gobble it up. When they encounter humans, they mostly shuffle off quietly and considerately.

They are quite cryptic however and occasionally I executed 10 minute bird counts whilst standing right next to a Godman’s Pit Viper. Once I very nearly put my bag on one; I suspect the mighty MacPac would have lived.
This is a Godman’s Pit Viper, fangs at the ready.


  Chris’s mum and dad wrote @ July 27th, 2007 at 7:52 am

Just come back from a funeral in Brighton! What a gay place! We are not surprised that Queen Victoria preferred the Highlands! Very pretty looking snake, mmm whose fingers are holding it? I’m surprised Lorna hasn’t told you her snake story yet - wait for it!

  Lorna (Lil’ sis) wrote @ August 2nd, 2007 at 10:45 am

Just to keep Mum happy. Here is the snake story, not very exciting.
Took the bairns to a place called Woodside Falconary a few months ago. Saw lots of interesting birds and animals. You will be glad to know my kiddies are good at working out which are the boy birds and which are the girls and we can tell specifically which are male and femal snowy owls. You impressed?

Anyway, snake story, they had snakes and all sorts of lizards and stuff at this place and the kids were having a great time touching and feeding all these wonderful creatures. Anyway, the keeper guy decided that their teacher should have snake round their neck. Oh, and not any old snake but some sort on constrictor! THrough giggles and panic and pretending to be a tree i held this rather large constrictor. I have photographic evidence of the occasion but remember little of it.

  Seasquirt » Dangerous occurences on Transect 5 wrote @ August 7th, 2007 at 2:35 pm

[…] the way home we successfully negotiated our way past a couple of baby (but deadly) Godman’s Pit Vipers but at the last hurdle both got viciously attacked by wasps. We both ran screaming from the nest […]

  Lachlan wrote @ August 8th, 2007 at 2:27 am

Lorna’s snake story sounds like the time when Lynne and I visited the snake farm (where they made anti-venom) in Bangkok. They were showing off some of their snakes one of which was a 6-7 foot python. On asking who wanted to hold it I was first down and then after everyone else had had a go I volunteered Lynne to go down as well. This was in an attempt to cure her irrational (can’t be rational living in Scotland after all) fear of snakes. It didn’t work and the photo of the moment shows her looking less than chuffed. The interesting thing was the way the snake, with a U-shaped loop round ones neck, would gently squeeze just enough to show that it could kill one should it so desire. Nice.

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