We had an interesting add-on which doesn’t happen in most campgrounds and that was a snake show. The owner of the park loves snakes. He holds snake handling courses and he gave the residents of the park a talked about snakes. He made a point of telling everyone about the danger of snakes. After all Australian has 21 out of the top 25 poisonous snakes in the world. Are you thinking of coming to Australia? Have you changed your mind yet? No. Good. In saying we have 21 of the top 25 isn’t as bad as it sounds. We have more shark attack than we have snakebites. (Changed you mind about coming here haven’t you? Snake, shark and don’t forget the spiders. We have it all.) Most of the very bad snakes are very shy and live in some of the most remote areas of Australia so your chances of discover one is very slim.
What to do if you are bitten?
DON’T PANIC. LAY THE VICTIM DOWN, as quickly as possible, in a cool area if you can (if it is the only thing you have, under a near by shady tree will help.)
DO NOT MOVE THE VICTIM unless further danger is present.
CALL FOR HELP. In Australia it is 000. If you are with other people make sure they are aware of what is happening. They can assist you.
If you have a pressure bandage START AT THE TOES (OR HAND) AND START TO WRAP THE BANDAGE UP THE LIMB AS FAR AS POSSIBLE THEN BRING THE BANDAGE BACK DOWN. IF THE BANDAGE IS NOT LONG ENOUGH MAKE SURE THE BITE AREA IS COVERED. THE BANDAGE SHOULD BE FIRM ENOUGH TO REDUCE LIMPHATIC MOVEMENT BUT NOT TO CUT THE BLOOD FLOW. KEEPING TOES AND FINGERS FREE TO MONITOR CIRCULATION. Release the bandage if the fingers or toes start to change colour otherwise DO NOT TOUCH THE BANDAGE AGAIN. (Most bites are on the limbs.)
It is a good idea to mark the bandage where the bite is and it will help if you can splint the limb to prevent movement. I know most people don’t walk around with a pressure bandage in their back pocket, use anything you have available. Anything is better than nothing. A T Shirt or shirt, wrapped firmly. A branch for a splints. Anything.
DO NOT CUT THE WOUND AND TRY TO SUCK OUT THE POISON as you may have seen someone do on TV. It is a big no, no. DO NOT WASH THE WOUND some of the venom may still be on the skin and the nurses can swab the skin to get a sample of the venom to help identify the snake. There is not one ante venom to fit all. Each family of snake has it own and give the wrong ante venom can course as much harm as the snakebite itself. DO NOT APPLY A TOURNIQUET TO THE LIMB. AND DO NOT TRY TO CATCH AND IDENTIY THE SNAKE. The chances are high there will be two snakebite victims instead of one.
Keep calm. Most bites are dry. That means there is no venom injected with the bite. Don’t take it for granted the bite is dry though, you should always act as if it a venomous bite.
If you are traveling to a place where you may meet a snake, research the first aid for snakebites. Just don’t take my word for it; there may be different way of dealing with snakebite in your country.
After the park owner finished talked about the snakes he asked if anyone wanted to handle the snake he had wrapped around his neck. A young girl put up her hand, both of her brothers had a ‘not on your life’ look on their faces. She loved it; finally her younger brother asked if he could have a turn and she reluctantly handed the snake over.
Adrian had his turn, (he like snakes) and I took the photos.
The van park owner put the snake on the ground while he went to get its dinner. The snake had a good look round much to the horror of the older brother of the young girl.
The own came back with a dead rat. To start with the snake didn’t seem interesting but then suddenly it spun round to grab it. Then came the slow devouring of the rat. It was one of those moments when it was “oh yuck but oh that is interesting.” As the snake twisted it’s way around the poor rat you could see how it unlocked its bottom jaw to eat. Amazing.
While we were waiting for the first snake to eat dinner the owner brought out another snake. This one seemed to have an evil look it its eye. When offered dinner it didn’t hesitate. The poor rat was gone within seconds.
Some of the birds that were coming in to roost for the night were not happy to see a snake at the bottom of the tree. Some brave ones swooped down but none came very close. They just let us all know they weren’t happy with their voices in protest.
Totally Amazing in a gruesome way.