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How to Recognize a Poisonous Snake

Snake bites are responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in North America every year. Even non-poisonous snakes can do serious damages when they strike, either through infection and nerve damage or constriction.

The first step to avoiding a snake bite is preparedness. If you are going to be in a rural area, especially out of the country, do your homework. Find out what species of snakes if any are native to that area and what kind of treatment is necessary should someone be bitten. Bite kits are a must for extended ventures in tropical climates or deserts.

Despite our best precautions, stumbling across a snake is always a possibility in nearly any location, and while the best thing to do if you see a snake is to leave it alone, knowing whether or not it is poisonous can help inform your choices in the event of a bite. Some poisonous snakes to watch out for in the U.S. include:

  • Rattlesnakes: Several types of rattlesnakes exist in the U.S., and all are dangerous. Fortunately, they are also the most likely to give you a good warning when you are approaching their space. Since humans don’t fall into their range of prey, they will generally give a distinctive rattle with the end of their tail, which is also easily recognizable by sight.
  • Cottonmouths: These snakes are also known as water moccasins, and are native to swampy areas of the American Southeast. They are also extremely proficient swimmers, and can often be found in and around trees at water’s edge. Though their colors vary, cottonmouths have a diamond-shaped head and will often open their mouths when threatened, exposing the white inner membranes that give them their name.
  • Copperhead: Sometimes confused with non-venomous species, this snake is often a camouflaged blend of light and dark brown and has a head similar in shape to that of the Cottonmouth.

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Snake bites are often serious injuries that can lead to extensive damage and death. Owners and handlers have a responsibility to keep the animals under their care from harming other humans. If you or a loved one has been affected by a snake bite and you believe another’s negligence might be to blame, contact the Kenosha personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, toady at 800-242-2874.