My backyard is full of surprises

triplegex

New Member
Messages
494
Location
Austin
except coral snakes are rear fanged and can only invenomate a human if you pick it up and shove your finger in it's mouth and let it chew on you... It's a shame it had to die should have just relocated it..
 

Dimidiata

New Member
Messages
1,955
Location
palmetto FL
Agreed. There was NO reason to kill that animal unless it was coming straight at you and doing its best to kill you. However, i believe these guys do have front fangs
http://www.madprogrammer.com/snakes/CoralSnake/ re-homing always preferable.

Either way the animal is dead now and thats that. I would reccomend getting your self a buckt with a lid, and maybe a pair of snake tongs in the future. You can simple put it in the bucket and relocate the animal to a more secluded area.
 

Ambyrlynne

New Member
Messages
75
Location
Florida
Everyone keeps getting mad at me for killing it, but if you were in my position I almost guarentee you'd do the same thing.

Why do I get penalized for doing what I feel is best?
I had a almost 2 year old toddling around and an 83 year old messing with it's house(unknown to us until we found it who killed it, I'm not sure if it was coming after him or not I was turned, I heard a yell and I saw him killing it). We had no time to react and run and get a bucket to "relocate it" nor do we have a safe place around here to relocate it. Everyone keeps saying "put it in an empty lot". If I'm not mistaken, coral snakes like to be hidden in leaves or soil, curled up and left alone, there are no empty lots around here that are anything close to that and that aren't around other inhibited houses. And since I live out in the country with animals on the property, I can't just move it to another area of the property and i'm out of city limits so animal control would've taken hours to get here if they'd even of come at all.

Like I said, I'm sorry if it offends anyone. I really wish we didn't have to kill it. It was just simply a warning to people that are out there herping about because they ARE venomous and deadly if not treated within like 15 minutes. I have no reason to put my loved ones at risk.

Unfortunately, this isn't the scariest snake we've had around. There was a rattlesnake in my bedroom when I was younger as well as I ran over a water mocassin with my bike when I was 9 as well as my dad stepped on one in the garage when I was 5, he must've stepped on it's neck because it didn't bite him and when he turned on the light and identified it, it was paralyzed.

It's unfortunate, no lie there, they don't usually attack unless they're threatened, but with a baby around, I cannot take a chance.
 

lillith

lillith's leo lovables
Messages
1,923
Location
Land of the Rain and Trees, WA
You do always have the option of turning around and walking away. You cannot control other people's actions, but you guys reacted out of fear instead of acting from logic. I would have grabbed the toddler and shouted "leave it!" to anyone else. If you had all gone inside and calmed down, you could have either figured a way to trap and relocate, or called a professional to come do it.

It's so small. Really!

The first and only time I killed a snake, I was 12 years old, it was openly striking at my dog and my mom was in the yard screaming about OMG A COPPERHEAD! I used a shovel to decapitate it. I never did identify if it was a copperhead or a rattler of some sort (SoCal doesn't have copperheads, does it?). But I remember watching it die, and wishing I hadn't, that it was such a beautiful thing. If I had known how to bucket and relocate, I think I would have. I always trap spiders and take them outside while people are shrieking in the background. I wish I had done better by that snake.

So yes, one of my more shameful moments in life. Lesson learned. I hope you learned something from this instance. There IS always another choice.
 

JordanAng420

New Member
Messages
3,280
Location
Miami, FL
Oh... And I do agree with the OP's decision to kill it. If there is a baby involved in the situation that could potentially be harmed, she did what she needed to do. I understand everyone's predispositions about having compassion for the animal and relocating it. But when there is a child involved that could potentially be exposed, especially your own, you protect your kid before you even THINK about anything else. It's all out of sheer instinct. I don't blame her for her deceision at all.
 

Dimidiata

New Member
Messages
1,955
Location
palmetto FL
Its understandable this time but in all honnesty, if you live in the country im sure you saw this coming one day. The best advice i can offer is to make your yard the least attractive place for a snake to want to be. Especially for those snakes that you dont see. They are the most dangerous. Removing large leaf litters, keeping the yard raked and clean of debris, removing rock piles, thickets of plants, Logs and stuff like that. If you can get a bucket and snake tongs then you can get the upper hand on the animals and go out and do a quick pass though the yard and collect anything that you find. Cleaning the yard up may also help with any unwanted arachnids.
 

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
Alright then.

Coral snakes are elapids, all elapids are fixed front fanged. They are not a rear fanged species, they are capable of envenomation from a single bite, they are capable of opening their mouth wide enough to strike many surfaces on the human body, the fangs are long enough to penetrate skin.

As a venomous snake, they should always be treated with due respect for the capabilities of the animal when encountering or interacting with them. They should not be freehandled, they should not be dismissed as harmless.

However... only about forty percent of North American coral snake bites will involve envenomation, they do have an abnormally high rate of "dry bites" where no venom is injected. They're only responsible for about 80-100 reported bites in the United States per year, a tiny fraction of the number reported for various crotalids in the U.S. There has been exactly one human fatality resulting from a coral snake envenomation since 1967 and it was a case where there was no medical treatment. There are some concerns about the relative danger since Wyeth stopped producing coral snake antivenin (due to lack of profitability, they made more than they sold and sold more than was ever used), but the exact impact of that has yet to be really analyzed.

Furthermore, symptoms gradually increase in severity from the point of envenomation over the course of several hours to a couple days, growing from localized effects to systemic symptoms. Discounting some kind of severe histamine reaction or an extremely unlikely method of envenomation, they are not remotely capable of "killing a person in fifteen minutes." There are a lot of factors that come into play when looking at toxicity and clinical effects but...

Oh... And I do agree with the OP's decision to kill it. If there is a baby involved in the situation that could potentially be harmed, she did what she needed to do. I understand everyone's predispositions about having compassion for the animal and relocating it. But when there is a child involved that could potentially be exposed, especially your own, you protect your kid before you even THINK about anything else. It's all out of sheer instinct. I don't blame her for her deceision at all.
I'm not so sure it is that cut and dry. From her description, it isn't like the snake was in contact with, or even near the child. Unless I am seriously misunderstanding what she wrote, this wasn't a coral snake curled up in a bassinet with the kid, it was a coral snake in the yard of the house where the kid happens to live. There's a point after which it's unreasonable to use child safety as an excuse. I don't think a scenario with two adults and ten meters of space between the kid and the snake qualifies. There are some situations where there's a lot of room for interpretation and debate. Then there are some that are clearly immediate dangers and some where you just pick up the kid and take a couple steps backwards.


Edit: And re-homing or relocation isn't always preferable either. Eastern corals do not acclimate easily when taken into captivity or moved. They have a tendency to exhibit anorexia, disorientation and behavioral changes that often lead to their death from dehydration, starvation or exposure. Moving them to an appropriate habitat isn't quite as dangerous to them as it is for most rattlesnakes, but they really do not do well when yanked from one place and dropped in another.

As with most venomous snake interactions, the best solution usually lies in awareness and education. Make the property unappealing, control your kids and pets, teach the kids snake identification and safety as soon as they're old enough to be wandering around unsupervised. A little personal responsibility often saves smashing up an animal out of ignorance and paranoia.
 
Last edited:

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
I actually didnt know about the relocating bit. Thats good info right there, thanks.
Relocation of any animal carries some inherent stress and risks to the animal in question, just the act of doing it is an event that causes responses.

Turns out that most North American snakes, of many species and from many areas, do especially badly though. Some far, far worse than others- relocating an Eastern Diamondback by more than five-ten miles is pretty well guaranteed to significantly shorten their life in an extraordinarily high preponderance of cases (those that don't die of exposure/starvation often have their winter denning instincts retarded and face death as the weather turns).

Eastern corals are trickier to get numbers for, because they're smaller- making them harder to tag and track after relocation, so definitive information is a lot spottier. Some information is known, some is extrapolated from the way the species responds to other stimuli and stress. They're notable as frequently being picky eaters; the species is opportunistic, but individuals seem to have prey seeking behaviors that have developed inside microhabitats and small localities, with distinct preferences for prey species following genetic lines. The immediate and local availability of those preferred prey animals then has a tremendous impact on the health of the relocated snake. It negatively impacts their ability to avoid predation, acquire water, find shelter and thermoregulate as well, to varying degrees.

All of which is a matter of generalizations and tendencies, of course. Actually graphing out instances would result in a bell curve, or a densely packed accumulation of dots surrounded by a field of statistical outliers. The involved factors can be complicated and difficult to predict with any degree of reliability when weighing the chances and making a decision regarding an individual animal.

Of course, anyone in Florida has the benefit of a large, active and reasonably reliable and credible venomous keeping community to tap into as a resource. The state's regulations are strict enough to weed out most of the defectives (though I can think of one or two that made it through somehow), resulting in a local community that tends to be educated, experienced, competent, involved, willing to help and omnipresent.
 

Dimidiata

New Member
Messages
1,955
Location
palmetto FL
I just never knew how much stress some of them could go through, living out in the country when i was younger in NY i was always relocating garder, racer and a small variety of other nonvenomous snakes from my neighbors backyard. How ever that was just 40ft or so into the woods out back.
 

Ambyrlynne

New Member
Messages
75
Location
Florida
Oh... And I do agree with the OP's decision to kill it. If there is a baby involved in the situation that could potentially be harmed, she did what she needed to do. I understand everyone's predispositions about having compassion for the animal and relocating it. But when there is a child involved that could potentially be exposed, especially your own, you protect your kid before you even THINK about anything else. It's all out of sheer instinct. I don't blame her for her deceision at all.

Thank you. I did what I felt was best. The ONLY purpose of this post was NOT to piss people off or to get people pissed at me for my decision was just to warn people that you never know what's in your backyard.

I'm sorry but I can't take a chance. What if I had of had a playgroup over that day instead of just MY kid?! How in the world could I have time to grab 5 kids(all 1-3 years old) and shove them all inside, grab a bucket, get it in it and relocate it before a child thought it was interesting or pretty or whatever a 1-3 year old may think about a snake(and kids are VERY curious) and pissed the snake off.

In my next experience I will do my best to relocate it, that is a promise, BUT if my child is around, sorry, i'm going to react in her safety, not stop and think.

Furthermore, symptoms gradually increase in severity from the point of envenomation over the course of several hours to a couple days, growing from localized effects to systemic symptoms. Discounting some kind of severe histamine reaction or an extremely unlikely method of envenomation, they are not remotely capable of "killing a person in fifteen minutes." There are a lot of factors that come into play when looking at toxicity and clinical effects but...
I do not know how long it would take to kill a toddler. What I read, their venom is slow and you may not even see symptoms for up to 18 hours, but considering how small a toddler is, i'm sure it'd be sped up. The snake wasn't around her directly, about 4 feet away, but in an adrenaline rush, when you do the song in your head "red on black is a friend of jack and red on yellow, well that'll kill a fellow" and you look up and your kid is only 3-4 feet away, I mean, it was a reaction. My dad technically killed it, I just handed him the two-by-four and I'm sure he saw the same I did, toddler + deadly snake = bad.

Like I said, I'm sorry this offended people, I just wanted to raise awareness that they're out there and especially if you let your kids go out without you(not that mine was without me), make sure they know what to look for.
 

Dimidiata

New Member
Messages
1,955
Location
palmetto FL
I dont understand? Most people, exspecialy on here know about snakes outside and know about the fact that when you let kids out you need to watch for dangerous animals, There was no point in posting the pic of the decapitated snake. You could have simply posted a reminder that there are dangerous snakes out back. Besides, you said you wanted to warn people out there herping that there are venomous snakes. Youd think herpers would be aware of that :p. Your comment on how deadly their venom was, was generalized, not directed at anyone in particular, and wrong overall. Again as i said, You live in the country, snakes happen, bites happen, its not our territory, its theirs. The best you can do is make the yard unappealing to them and maybe not let young kids run around out back, or put up a smaller gate in a grass area, keep it trimmed low, that way its just a area with short grass, nothing a snake like that would hide out in.

The snakes dead, its unfortunate, it really didn't have to die. But it did and that's that. The wrong was done with good intention. Im glad everyones ok and nobody got bit or injured.
 
Top