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 Post subject: Poor old snake!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:47 pm 
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I had the fright of my life a few weeks ago when a cobra reared up hissing at me and the dog. I cursed it, the dog, and me for not looking where I was treading although it was just near the house.

Well, last night, a posse of locals were gathered around a wall trying to pull out the snake from a hole (only about 2 inches of tail exposed), and I admit I felt a bit sad for it. They never got it, but with the rank amateur approach of using a fish slice and a stick had no effect at all except for, I guess, quite rightly pissing the snake off considerably, and most likely giving it the idea that attacking humans is the best policy in the future.

It is a built up are. Lots to dogs and young kids and naive idiots like me, but surely, unless my years of watching wildlife programs has mislead me, these critters will not attack unless they are threatened. Provoking the poor blighter in my view would be the worst idea. Isn't it best just to leave them alone, or use a stick and flick them into deep undergrowth ?

By the way, I am the man who stamps loudly where ever he walks nowadays!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:37 pm 
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It seems sub rational that people would suggest leaving poisonous snakes to roam free in residential areas.
Either get the snake wrangler or kill it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:55 pm 
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cats and snakes - what next. I note a certain hypocrisy between the posts

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:12 pm 
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I never heard of a domestic cat killing anyone - a cobra however...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:15 pm 
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... has never killed anyone on Lamma. Leave them alone, they are a protected species, so killing them is not only irrational, it's also illegal.

That scary rearing up with the distinctive hood and hissing display by the cobra is just a bluff, they won't attack unless they are really threatened.

It's the small green pit vipers you need to look out for. They are very aggressive, but they won't kill you either, just make you very ill and put you in QMH for a couple of days.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Also, there really aren't many cobras here. People are very quick to label large snakes as "cobras", but most are just rat snakes and not venomous at all.

RAT SNAKE
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Is that a rat snake? I thought they were black and look like cobras


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:01 am 
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Foxy wrote:
Is that a rat snake? I thought they were black and look like cobras


They come in lots of different colours.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:17 am 
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Foxy wrote:
... has never killed anyone on Lamma. Leave them alone, they are a protected species, so killing them is not only irrational, it's also illegal.

That scary rearing up with the distinctive hood and hissing display by the cobra is just a bluff, they won't attack unless they are really threatened.

It's the small green pit vipers you need to look out for. They are very aggressive, but they won't kill you either, just make you very ill and put you in QMH for a couple of days.


I tend to agree. It is frightening so the bluff works but as I understand most people get the double hypodermic treatment having stepped on a snake. I think I would bite someone if they trod on my back! Heavy footsteps and make lots of noise when its dark - that's the best idea and leave them alone.

Re domestic cats. I bet a few have killed humans by being in the way, and in a comical darwinesque tumbling fall down the stairs, death occurs. Domestic cats though are well known for decimating local wildlife where they are not indigenous - ask any Australian!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:56 am 
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Adamb wrote:
Domestic cats though are well known for decimating local wildlife where they are not indigenous - ask any Australian!


Has anyone seen any wild mammals on Lamma, aside from feral cats, dogs and rats?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Foxy said ...killing [a posionous snake] is not only irrational...' What?... its smart to leave one around your house!

What next, 'save the centipede' or '...stupid kid - he should'nt have been playing there...'

Removing the posionous snake from a residential area is the best option. killing it is the next best option

Being involved in the medical profession Foxy why not describe the effects of a posionous cobras bite for us.

never mind

from wikpedia

Early symptoms of a bite include ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, and dizziness, followed by progressive respiratory muscle weakness, ultimately requiring endotracheal intubation. Cobra venom is a postsynaptic neurotoxin. It works by stopping the acetylcholine molecules in the diaphragm muscle from interacting. Without treatment death from respiratory failure may occur as early as 30 minutes after being bitten.

Standard treatment involves the use of antivenin. Additionally, it is possible to support bite victims via mechanical ventilation, using equipment of the type generally available at hospitals. Such support should be provided until the venom is metabolised and the victim can breathe unaided. If death occurs it takes place approximately 6 to 12 hours after the cobra bite. Cause of death is respiratory failure or suffocation caused by complete paralysis of the diaphragm.

How long would it take to take a child to the hospital, presuming the horse blood is on HK island.

Yeah - real smart Foxy!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:14 pm 
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I didn't say cobras weren't poisonous, I said they haven't killed anyone, at least on Lamma. Remove them by all means, but please don't kill them.

As Alan pointed out, they are quite rare here. I've lived on Lamma for over 20 years and have seen just one (albeit a very scary one). Never heard of anyone getting bitten by a cobra here, either. Although I know of several people, including children, who have been hospitalized after being bitten by pit vipers. Juvenile pit vipers look very cute, but hatch with a full charge of venom and, like adults, are very aggressive.

As for centipedes, which unlike cobras are not a protected species, I kill them on sight. They are very aggressive with a painful but non-venomous bite. They will enter your house and I knew one guy who was hospitalized for a week in QMH after being attacked by four of them in his bed. Centipedes like to breed in rotten wood, so if you have any around your place, I suggest getting rid of it (the bed-bitten guy had an old plywood subdividing wall in his flat and they were breeding in there). I also know another guy who was bitten on the end of his dick by a centipede, when he was asleep. Ouch!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:35 pm 
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How long would it take to take a child to the hospital

Not 6 to 12 hours. A medivac to QMH or PYNEH takes at least 30-45 minutes, most of which is taken up by the ambulance staff trying to find your location on Lamma.

But I'm sure you were aware of this before you moved here


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:07 am 
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tjungarayi wrote:
killing it is the next best option


Tjungarayi, you are pretty and everything but I have to disagree with you. The biggest problem is that most people in HK can't tell a snake from a garden hose. If you look back through the forums there are several instances where people claim they have seen a "king cobra" (always the king and never the more abundant Chinese cobra) on Lamma. Invariably those who post pictures with such a claim often are posting pictures of rat snakes which are very, very common here. Rat snakes get quite large (up to 2 m) and heavy bodied. They come in many colors and can have dull stripes similar to cobras. They are fast and can scare the daylights out of you if they cross your path, but they are completely harmless.

I regularly see snakes with bludgeoned head on trails in the country parks and on Lamma. Only once have I seen a dead venomous snake (a young Chinese cobra); every other has been non-venomous and harmless.

Obviously if you have a snake in your house or see a cobra entering/exiting a hole near your house regularly, you need to take action. That doesn't necessarily have to mean by killing it. And we should not be smashing every snake we come across just because we are afraid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:15 am 
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Foxy wrote:
Is that a rat snake? I thought they were black and look like cobras


I don't think the picture that Alan posted is either of the rat snakes we have here. It looks like the one from the U.S., a different species, which is quite colorful. But he is right, color is not always useful for identifying species.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:33 am 
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You know what. We should invite Hagrid to Lamma. He would know how to care for and handle the mystical magical creatures of Lamma.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:30 am 
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Alan wrote:
Has anyone seen any wild mammals on Lamma, aside from feral cats, dogs and rats?


Only bats and a colony of sessile, mammal-like creatures that I can't identify in front of the Fountainhead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:35 am 
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Dieselboy, tell us more about Lamma's Mystical Magical Creatures!

I'm quite convinced there must be at least some of the highly imaginative zoo of Chin. Mystical Creatures around here hiding from us (with good reason) - gei lon, see chee, unicorns, dragon turtles, money frogs, nine kinds of dragons - I used to collect small sculptures of these Chin. Mystical Creatures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:39 pm 
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Well, I have a suspicion that they are trying to breed basilisks on Lamma. You see these piles of junks here and there are perfect disguises. Did you know that if you get a toad to hatch over a chicken egg, you get a basilisk? A baby basilisk won't kill you with its stare and it doesn't have enough venom to kill you yet. When they are young, they look just like green vipers, hence the nasty aggressive behaviour!

Accordingly to the Ministry of Fantastical and Magical Creatures, it is strictly forbidden to breed basilisk. Once hatched, however they are protected. So please don't kill them but simply inform the appropriate authorities.

Unfortunately, there are still some very irresponsible people piling up junks. They may not be breeding basilisks; but the piles of junks are really eyesores. Plus, these piles of junks are perfect breeding ground for Asian Blast-Ended Skrewts, more commonly known as local Lamma centipedes! The Asian species of the Blast-Ended Skrewts is a lot smaller than the ones Hagrid kept for the Tri-Wizard Tournament, but just as nasty.

The Asian Blast-Ended Skrewts are not protected. So kill them by all means!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:20 pm 
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I have only killed venomous snakes! They are territorial and will come back if taken a short way away.

Non posionous snakes I leave alone unless they live in the house and shit everywhere, in which case I take them a long way away.

I am dumbfounded that some people suggest leaving venomous snakes in residential areas where there are kids. Cobras are venomous so if there is not a snake wrangler available I will kill them to obviate any chance of a child dying.

So having so many cats and dogs around has it upside - they either kill or get killed. Either way they clear the area or provide a telltale sign through their corpse.

I like wildlife too! Cuddle and hug non venomous snakes by all means if thats what you are into, but get real - being bitten by a cobra is nasty.

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