'Watch where you step': Staying safe around snakes in Middle Georgia
DUBLIN, Ga. -- Snakes are active this time of year so it's important for Middle Georgians to know how to live around them.
According to Reptile Rescue, snakes don't want to attack or bite people as long as they're left alone, but sometimes they can be hard to spot.
"Even if I know where he is, he can almost blend in. It is hard to see him so you have to be vigilant in watching where you step and put your hand and feet when you are outside. When you do come across one, simply back up and leave him alone. He is not going to leave where he is and chase you down to bite you. In order to get bit, you are going to have to take the bite to the snake," said Jason Clark, president of the Southeastern Reptile Rescue.
Clark said that snakes are designed to be hidden in their habitat, so people can get bit just by not seeing the snake and accidentally stepping on it.
"Even if I know where he is, he can almost blend in," Clark said. "So you really have to be vigilant in watching where you step and watch where you put your hand and feet when you are outside. And when you do come across one, simply back up and leave them alone. He is not going to leave where he is and chase you down in order to bite you. In order to get bit, you have to take the bite to the snake."
Anyone bitten by a snake should find someone to drive them to the hospital, since symptoms can take up to an hour to show up.
Dr. Andrew Bozeman is a pediatric surgeon at Dublin's Fairview Park Hospital and said that symptoms from a venomous snake bite include soft tissue swelling and skin bruising and pain.
"Rendering first aid for a snake bite victim is basically to get the victim away from the snake. Lay them down in a comfortable area and call for medical attention. Some of the things that are old wives tales are tourniquets. We never use tourniquets in snake bites, that actually has the potential to do more damage," said Bozeman.