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Snakes and spiders in Panama

Many people ask themselves what is the risk of going to tropic countries; is everywhere so bad like in the Amazon rainforest; will I die in tropics?!
Here you can see what I have found today within 2 hours – snake (boa) and a spider which hided 4 cm under my hand (under the laptop which was warm).

Reality is not so bad


Yes there are spiders and snakes, Yes some of them are venomous and you can die. However you risk everyday being hit by a car but you still leave your safe home to work, shop and school. You let your children play in a forest where a falling tree can kill it.

Due to statistics there is 10% mortality in Panama from venomous snakes. Due to Norman W. Elton, M.D. Chief of Gorgas Hospital in Panama which article we can read here, there is a small chance we will meet a snake like this and even smaller it will bite us. There are many reasons for that, but the most convincing is that we – humans – are much more dangerous for them that they are for us. Animals are scared of us and will not kill us for fun and entertained how our spice is doing often.


Animals defend themselves

Probably you don’t consider yourself as an aggressive person, now think about a giant that crosses your road and you have no way to hide, but you have a gun. Of course you will try your chance to survive, so it is with animals. Here you have few advices from an expert Norman W. Elton which can help you to avoid unpleasant situation with a snake and many other spices.

a. Do not travel alone in the bush; a companion may see the snake that you do not notice
b. Be well shod. At least do not wear low shoes. Tuck trousers into boots and have trousers loose and baggy.

c. Be watchful when using your hands in climbing or in clearing brush. The native who knows how to use a machete, has a bent stick in his left hand to hold branches and small vegetation prior to clipping it with his machete.

d. When you see a snake, freeze in your tracks until you can estimate the situation. The snake will not attack you, since he will be as much surprised and disturbed as you are, and the chances will be 4 to 1 that he is a nonpoisonous type.

e. If alone and proceeding through snake country, make a lot of noise to give the snakes a chance to get out of your way.

f. Carry in your equipment a rubber sheet (thin late) and a piece of rubber tubing for use as a tourniquet.

g. Be especially watchful at night. This is when the hungry snakes are hunting rodents. They will not be hunting you, but there might be a misunderstanding.


I have got bitten, what to do?!

First of all do not panic. I don’t have to explain how stupid it is, but your heart will start pumping blood faster and kill you quicker – we’d like to avoid it.

Make a picture

Is might sound odd but it will help identify was it toxic and which antidote you should get. It might save your life.

Check the food ball

Is the snake is after hunting and has a ball of food within him, his poison was less dangerous and you have more time.

Do mouth suction

Suck the poison out of the place you have been bitten, or let somebody else do it if you can’t reach the point on your own. Remember to don’t swallow the poison! 😉

Go to the hospital, doctor or anybody who can call them

If you are not sure should you be concern, just go. In the end it’s your health we that might be in danger.