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Paddlers, Be Careful

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On: Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 8:59AM | By: John Paeno

I was recently reminded that southwest Florida is part of the Everglades. That means this is wild jungle-like country.

Early pioneers encountered all manner of dangers, like deadly snakes, insects, and alligators. They had hurricanes, floods, and drought to contend with.

While driving home from a paddle recently I encountered a good size eastern diamondback rattle snake. They like our pine forest, but all the rain this year flooded a lot of their habitat. This one had been run over by a car and was nearly dead, but he was still strong enough to strike at me before he died. I have always had snakes as pets and was saddened to have to put this one down. But I hate to see any animal suffer.

I removed his skin and tail and cured them because I also hated to see him go to waste. He will become part of our resource and information center for paddlers. The eastern diamondback bite can be fatal and often causes severe tissue damage. The one I encountered was over four feet long, but they can grow close to eight feet long.

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