Indian Snakes, Snakebite, Treatment, and Nag Panchami

In today’s article, we will talk about Indian Snakes, Snakebite, Treatment, and Nag Panchami. we will cover all these topics in this article. So let’s start

Indian Snakes

There are about 250 species of snakes in India, In which a major percentage fall into the Non-Venomous category. Venomous snakes are about 50 species. But there are only 4 species of snakes that are considered dangerous to man, these are called The big four venomous“.

1) Indian Cobra (Naja naja)
2) Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus
)
3) Russells Viper (Daboia russelii)
4) Saw Scaled viper
(Echis carinatus)

The remaining categories of venomous snakes do not pose a threat to man. For example, the bite from a Large scaled pit viper(Trimeresurus Macrolepis), is venomous and causes pain, but the venom is not potent enough to kill a full-grown human being.

The sea snake is considered to be the most venomous snake as it has a high potency of venom, but they are usually timid and shy away from humans at first glance, and not many of us fancy swimming in the sea often, especially in the deeper side.

I have seen fishermen pick up a sea snake which usually gets caught in their nets by mistake, and throw it back into the sea like throwing a piece of rope. So, the danger of dying from a sea snake doesn’t arise.

The king cobra is usually a very large snake and it is known to have a very potent venom with the added advantage of huge venom sacs, It is the only snake that can fall an elephant.

But it is found in rare habitats and there are very few records of people dying from a King’s bite in India so far. So I suppose there is no necessity to worry about a King biting one of us because of its rarity.

However, it is quite sufficient for normal city dwellers to learn to recognize the Big four venomous snakes and stay away from them. The remaining snakes, DO NOT POSE ANY THREAT to humans.

But sadly Humans pose a threat to all snakes. Even most non-venomous species are sometimes killed saying ” oh my god!! This is a Dhamin ( Rat Snake), It attacks and bites with the tail, come on bahadur, Smash it!!”.

I will later write about the most outrageous things I have heard (even educated people say) about snakes. Sometimes it is quite funny to us at the Fosc, but then sometimes it is so unfortunate that people have serious misconceptions about snakes and the belief is so deep-rooted, that we have heard people suffer from cardiac arrests after getting bitten by a non-venomous specimen, out of fright.

Well, let me introduce some snake species found in Andhra Pradesh…

The Non-Venomous Indian snakes found in Andhra Pradesh are…

Common Worm Snake. ( Typhlina bramina)
Indian Rock Python (Python molurus)
Common Sand Boa ( Eryx conicus)
Red Sand Boa ( Eryx johnii)
Common Wolf Snake ( Lycodon aulicus)
Barred Wolf Snake (Lycodon striatus)
Banded Kukri (Oligodon Arnensis)
Streaked Kukri Snake ( Oligodon taeniolata)
Striped Keelback (Amphiesma stolata)
Green Keelback (Macropisthodon plumbicolor)
Checkered Keel Back (Xenochropis piscator)
Olive Keel Back (Atretium Schistosum)
Trinket Snake (Elaphe helena)
Rat Snake ( Ptyas Mucosus)
Banded Racer (Argyrogena Fasciolatus)
Bronze Back Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis Tristis)
Green Wine Snake ( Ahaetulla Nasutus)
Common Cat Snake ( Boiga Trigonata)
Dumeril’s Black-Headed Snake ( Sidynophis subpunctatus)
Dog Faced Watersnake (Cerderus rhynchops)

The Venomous Indian Snakes found in Andhra Pradesh are…

Common Krait ( Bangarus Caeruleus)
Banded Krait ( Bangarus Fasciatus)
Indian Spectacled Cobra ( Naja Naja)
King Cobra (ophiophagus hannah)
Sea Snakes ( Enhydrina sp. and Laticauda) ( about 15 species found along the A.P.Coastline.)
Russells Viper ( Vipera Russellii)
Saw-Scaled Viper ( Echis carinatus)
Bamboo Pit Viper ( Trimeresurus gramineus)

Snake Bite

Indian Snakes Spectacled cobra baby

Snakes do not bite for fun or for revenge. They try to bite only if handled or if stepped on. Snakes do not possess any kind of complex intelligence which generates feelings of revenge or long-term memory enabling them to remember people’s faces.

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Since many people even in cities have gardens around them and thick vegetation, there is a chance of one getting bitten sometimes, accidentally.

If this is a non-venomous bite, one need not panic at all, but then there is always a problem of identification, as most people do not know to identify a snake to be venomous.

The following is the first aid in case of a snake bite, which should be done carefully, this will reduce the risk of a possibly life-threatening snake bite.

Treatment

In case of a venomous snake bite or if you are uncertain about the identity of the snake,
here are the first aid steps to follow:

1.Calm the patient down to slow down blood circulation and retarding the circulation of venom in the bloodstream.

2.Quickly clean the site of the wound with some water and, if available some Dettol.

3.If the bite is on the arms or the legs, tie a ligature (two fingers should just about fit under tourniquet) using a soft cotton cloth or rope, above the wound on the upper arm (above the elbow)or upper leg(above the knee joint) in a single bone area.

4.If it takes more than 20 minutes to get to a doctor make sure to slightly loosen the ligature for a minute every 10 minutes.

5.Do not attempt to suck out venom as it can potentially place the first aid giver at risk and is ineffective at removing venom.

6.Do not attempt to make cuts around the site of the bite as it can cause infection and is also ineffective at removing venom.

7.Get to a doctor as quickly as possible and report the bite, with a description of the snake.

8.If possible, arrange for transportation so that the patient does not have to exert himself, thereby increasing blood circulation. Walking fast or running after a snake bite can prove fatal.

9.There is just one solution for any of the Big-four bites… Polyvalent anti-venom. It works for all four dangerous venomous snakes in India.

Nag Panchami

These are the snakes that we confiscated during the “Nag Panchami” day. Totally we got about 150 of them this year. They had all their fangs removed and their venom glands cut off and their mouths stitched.

They are in very bad condition and they are reduced to half-dead creatures. They don’t make an attempt to even move, because their condition is so bad and the treatment so brutal.

The mouths of these snakes are stitched and they are not fed any food from one month or before, this is done in order for the snake to take milk offered by people, which they don’t take naturally. 

Milk is not a part of the snake’s diet and since the milk is force-fed into the snake, it tends to go into the lungs through the glottis and kills the snake gradually with a bad infection.

Apart from this infection, the snake develops a septic condition in the area that the fang has been removed and will die in a few days if not treated promptly.

These were our today’s topics Indian snakes, snakebite, treatment, and Nag Panchami which we talked about in this article.

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