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Warning: Watch for poisonous snakes

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Coral snakes are the most deadly of the poisonous snakes found in north Louisiana. The venom is a neuro-toxin that immobilizes the body’s systes, making breathing virtually impossible. Look for red and yellow bands touching, which is the best identification mark.

Poisonous snakes can show up and zap you with no warning and sometimes with dire consequences.

Item: Lavon Chandler reached for a stick of firewood recently and was bitten on the finger by a big copperhead. Chandler spent several days in intensive care.

Item: Dr. James Dickson, head of Louisiana Tech’s wildlife programs, was checking a trap for endangered pine snakes. As he reached into the trap, a copperhead nailed him on a finger. Fortunately, having a cell phone handy and alerting medical authorities quickly resulted in a swollen sore finger for a few days with no lasting effects.

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