Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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Dangerous Snakes Lying in the Sun and Living on a Prayer

What do dangerous snakes and Bon Jovi have in common – other than all existing on the same earth under the same sun?

Tony and I were looking at some YouTube videos about dangerous snakes like puff adders, learning about what to do if we or somebody we’re with gets bitten by one of these dangerous snakes, as it’s good to know what to do in the event of a medical emergency.

We discovered that as long as you can get yourself to hospital fairly quickly, like within 30 minutes or so, where medical staff can attend to you properly, that you’ll be pretty much okay if the snakebite you receive is from a dangerous snake like a puff adder, as long as you remain calm, tie something around the arm or leg between the bite and your heart, and try get to hospital without moving that arm or leg around much – perhaps strap your arm to your body to help keep it as still as possible.

Now, although it’s preferable to get to hospital or another medical emergency treatment facility as quickly as possible after a puff adder bite, it’s even more essential that you receive almost immediate medical help for a snakebite if the snake that bites you is a Cape cobra. Cape cobras kill people.

In South Africa, more people die from a Cape cobra bite than from a bite from any other snake. In the whole of Africa, the puff adder kills more people – not because it’s more lethal, but because it’s more spread out all over Africa, than the Cape cobra is.

The puff adder is the one that is considered lazy or sluggish. It really enjoys lying in the sun, and if it’s in your way while you’re walking along, it won’t often slither away. So if you don’t see it, which is highly likely if you don’t look exactly where you put your feet with each and every step you take, and also because the puff adder has good camouflage blending so well into leaves, bush, twigs – “nature” in general, then you’re going to disturb and anger that puff adder by stepping on it, and it may bite you in self defence.

Another spot where a puff adder likes lying in the sun, is on ledges such as on a cliff, so be careful to make sure you can see where you put your hands if you enjoy exploring cliffs!

Skin cancer, sunburn, sunstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are not the only things to worry about on really hot and sunny days in Africa and South Africa – keep an eye out for puff adders, and other nasty and dangerous snakes too!

So what does any of this information about snakes have to do with Bon Jovi?

Well, while Tony and I were browsing through dangerous snakes videos on YouTube, trying to learn a little about how to stay safe from snakes – or what to do if bitten by a very poisonous one like a puff adder or Cape cobra, we came across a video where we could see the man get bitten on his hand by a Cape cobra while he was trying to take a photo of it – then after receiving treatment for the snakebite, he goes straight back to take more pictures of the Cape cobra, from close up, because he felt he had not yet gotten the perfect photo he wanted.

Wow – Tony and I would never have tried getting that photo taken in the first place, and then, if we had, and had been bitten, we certainly would not have gone back to try take more photos of this dangerous snake, and probably not any other snake either! Taking photos of snakes is not for us, thank you very much – but, so in awe were we that this man went back to take a photo of that snake – or another one, on the same day that he was bitten, that Tony suddenly thought of the words “Living on a Prayer” and he found the music video Living on a Prayer by Jon Bon Jovi.

While looking at the music video, and still feeling so amazed by the video on YouTube about the man who was bitten by a Cape cobra and then went back to it again after his snake bite treatment, we noticed that there were other video song titles by Bon Jovi down the sidebar on that YouTube page that also sounded like they would suit the Cape cobra snake bite video, such as It’s My Life, Wanted Dead or Alive, Bad Medicine, Dry County, Keep the Faith, Misunderstood, and Hey God.

© Teresa Schultz 2014

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