Statistically, about 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States each year and an average of 10 people a year die because of improper care. In the Florida, about 10 people per year were bitten by a cottonmouths aka water moccasins near water. The height of snake season is between April and October, peaking between July and August. Snakes are generally less active at temperatures less than 50-60 degrees, or greater than 80 degrees. The cardinal signs and symptoms of pit viper envenomation include: burning pain (the commonest, earliest sign), puncture wound (50% of the time accompanied by a bloody ooze), swelling, skin discoloration, nausea and vomiting, minty, metallic, rubbery taste in the mouth, sweating, chills, numbness and tingling of the mouth, face, scalp, and wound site, ecchymosis and production of blebs and blisters, erythema and edema progressing from the wound site, weakness, vertigo, haematemesis epistaxis, muscle fasiculations, paralysis, shock, convulsions, loss of sphincter control, melena haematuria, and renal shutdown. Envenomation may include some or all of these symptoms, depending on the severity of envenomation. Death can occur up to several days following the bite, or in as little as two hours. In pit viper envenomation the average death occurs in two days. If the bite is inflicted in an artery, vein, lymphatics, or a nerve, death will occur in 30 seconds to 10 minutes. If the victim does not die within the first 10 to 30 minutes, you have excess of 12 hours to get to proper medical help; in most cases, severe complications or death will not occur if proper medical protocol is followed.
Monday, March 26, 2012
This was the first time for me to film the elusive bobcat here in South Florida. Bobcats live throughout North America and are adaptable predators, which inhabits the wooded areas as well as the swampland here in Florida. They are smaller than the Canadian Lynx and twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name. Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from Insects and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although there is some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.
Friday, March 23, 2012
The florida panther is an endangered subspecies of cougar (Puma concolor) that lives in forests and swamps of southern Florida in the United States. This species is also known as the cougar, mountain lion, puma, and catamount; but in the Southeast, and particularly Florida, it is exclusively known as the panther. Florida Panthers are spotted at birth and typically have blue eyes. As the panther grows the spots fade and the coat becomes completely tan while the eyes typically become more of a yellow. One of the highest causes of mortality for Florida panthers are automobile collisions. There are less than 150 Florida Panthers left in the wild. And at least 10 panthers are killed each year by collisions with cars. 17 panthers died on Florida’s roads in 2008 alone, which means that more than 10% of the panther population met their doom on the bumpers of speeding cars. But, the tragedy these elusive predators doesn’t end just there. Female panthers leave their kittens behind when hunting for food... Needless to say, that these helpless kittens will just die of starvation or being killed by other predators if their mothers doesn’t return.
Friday, March 16, 2012
While I was searching for American Crocodile film locations in South Florida, I came across this magnificent birds of prey. The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is also known as the Sea Hawk, Fish Hawk or Fish Eagle, but despite its propensity to nest near water, the Osprey is not a Sea Eagle. This raptor is diurnal, mainly feeding on fish and reaching more than 24 inches in length and 71 inches across the wings. It is brown on the upper parts of its body and predominantly grey to white on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings. The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
The media reports every now and than about people being bitten by venomous snakes in the garden department of Home Depot, Wal-Mart or similar shopping facilities with a large outdoor area to sale their plants. Responsible for such incidents is a small 14 to 22 inch rattlesnake, which belongs to the genus Sistrurus and is commonly referred to as pigmy rattler or ground rattler. Pigmy rattlesnakes spend most of their time well hidden among leaf litter and can be very hard to spot. From such hiding places they ambush a variety of prey including lizards, frogs, small mammals, and insects as well as centipedes. These snakes are most often encountered crossing roads on summer evenings but on occasions they hunt for lizards and insects in nurseries. That’s how some of these snakes end up in the garden department, where they will find enough food and cover between the flower pots. This tiny rattlesnake will avoid human contact in general but doesn’t hesitate to strike at anything that comes near. Just keep in mind to have a careful look before reaching for a plants is always a good idea in such location.