MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - News of an Alabama man becoming paralyzed after mistakenly picking up a highly venomous snake he believed to have been harmless is making its way across the internet.
Alabama is the native land of multiple snake species, some venomous and others not. Six of those species are venomous, as shown in the attached slideshow. Education is key to knowing which snake is which.
According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension, the state's native venomous snakes include the Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Pigmy Rattlesnake, and the Eastern Coral Snake.
By visiting OutdoorAlabama.com or numerous other sites, you can learn more about each snake's description, where they're typically found, photos and more background information.
You may hear someone refer to a "good snake" or a "bad snake". While it's understandable to be fearful, it's important to remember there are numerous snake species, most of which are of the non-venomous variety (found here) that are actually beneficial for rodent and pest control. Some even eat venomous snakes!
I SEE A SNAKE! WHAT IS IT?
In the age of instant notification and the power of Google, answers can come quickly. But be careful. Snakes come in a variety of patterns and colors and not every snake fits the exact mold of its general description. Some Facebook pages (like this one) tend to provide quick information from experts once you upload a photo.
WHAT IF I'VE BEEN BITTEN?
If you or your child has been bitten by a snake and you're not certain if it's venomous, seek immediate medical attention. You can call 911 or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Children's Hospital of Alabama has several tips for what to do once bitten, and several of these go against long-entrenched ideas of what people have said you should do.
- No Tourniquet
- No Ice
- No Cutting
- Remove Rings & Constrictive Items
- Immobilize the Extremity
- Keep Patient Calm & Warm
- Transport to Emergency Department ASAP