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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Swelling, redness, intense pain and anaphylactic shock.Those are just a few reactions you can have if you’re bitten by a venomous snake.
The threat of coming in contact with these deadly creatures increases as temperatures rise.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are 46 species of snakes in Georgia, and six of those are deadly.
The owner of Southeastern Reptile Rescue, Jason Clark, says the most common venomous snake in Georgia that bites the most people is the copperhead.
Clark says the best thing to do if you see a snake, whether it’s venomous or not, is to keep your distance. ”When you see a snake, even in your yard, if its venomous, simply leave it alone. People have a misconception that if they have a venomous snake in their yard, that they have to get rid of it to solve the problem,” Clark said.
Stan Lake is a video producer and snake enthusiast. He says it’s a good idea to admire snakes from a distance because they will not go out of their way to attack you.
“Most snake bites actually happen when people try to kill them, or they to pick them up to impress their friends,” said Lake.
According to the DNR, it is illegal to kill nonvenomous snakes in Georgia, and there are a lot of benefits to the venomous ones.
A scientist discovered that the southern copperhead that lives in Georgia has contortrostatin in its venom; lab tests show it can reduce breast cancer tumors by as much as 70%, according to Clark.
Clark advocates that more potentially lifesaving discoveries from pharmaceutical companies and researchers could come from the venom, which would otherwise be deadly.
The deadly snakes in Georgia are the copperhead, the eastern coral snake, the cottonmouth, the pigmy rattlesnake, the diamondback rattlesnake, and the timber rattlesnake.
If you are bitten by one of these snakes, Dr. Dennis Ashley with Navicent Health says you need to seek medical attention immediately. Also, do not try to suck the venom out. Do not use alcohol on the bite. Keep the area that was bitten above your heart, and remain calm.
Becoming familiar with the color and markings on a venomous snake can help you identify a venomous one.
If you need to have a snake removed from your yard or you aren’t sure if a snake is venomous or not, visit https://www.snakesareus.com/