Kendall Chronicle (Kendall, Mont.) 1902-190?, November 18, 1902, Image 6

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6. Kendall, Montana, November 18, 1902 7)' SNAKES AND THEIR BITES Cobra's Poison More De ,dly than That of Any Other Reptile Death frcm the Rattler's Bite En- tails Extreme Agony—Care Given to Young Among the big glass cages and the forest palms in the zoological park reptile -house visitors were listening to a snake man's impromptu lecture on the deadliness of the various snake poisons. In front of the huge cage of the cobra the party halted. Within, tail knotted around tne tip o_ the cage three, body resting partly coiled on the palm leaf bungalow and head resting on the floor, lay Naigina, brownish gray, the splendid 14 -foot specimen, said to be the finest of her kind in captivity. \Doesn't look so wicxed,\ suggested one of the men. \Take the rattlers over in the corner and whether you knew they were rattlers or not you coulu see the poison in their eyes. But this chap — —\ \That's one of the characteristics of the species,\ interrupted the snake man. Harmless as far as pain goes, even in death, but there never was a surer death than that following the bite of the cobra. It is the quantity of poison emitted trom so large a snake which makes the attack so fa- tal. Likewise the method of inject- ing the venom. The fangs of the co- bra are short. In the case of the rat- tler and the other vipers the fangs are long. A quick glean buries the poison at a depth where it is sure to enter the blood. But all the cobras have short fangs and to inject the venom properly they hold on tight, like the grip of a null dog, giving the poison time to be absorbed in the blood. - There is no easier death than that due to a cobra bite. The poison con- tains 95 per cent of nerve -attacking and five . per cent of olodd-destroying venom. The victim, therefore, is par- alyzed by inches, losing sensibility and thinking that he is on the road to recovery until the last. As the end comes he sinks into sleep so gently and passes off so painlessly that fre- quently, with physicians sitting oy the bedside, it is impossible to say just when life quits the body. Un- like most poisonous snakes, the co- bra lays eggs, which are hatched into its young. As a rule, it is only the harmless snake that lays eggs—from 60 to 80 at a time—while, according to a wise provision of nature, the young venomous reptiles are oorn as In the mass of warm-blooded animals, in broods numbering six or eight at a time. \The diamond -back rattlesnake, for instance, brings its young to earth alive. The American rattler, in a scale of poisons, numbers only about third, the fer-de-lance of the West Indies, as well, as the cobra, ranking before him. The tangs of the rat- tler are long and sharp as the bones of a shad. Deep and quick they pen- etrate the victim's body, the sensa- tion being as slight as the prick of a needle until the poison begins to take effect, which Is within' five min- utes. \Contrary to the cobra's bite, the sting of a rattler entails tremendous suffering. Analyzed, the venom con- tains 95 per cent of blood -destroying and five per cent of nerve -destroying poison—directly opposite to that of a cobra. The consequence is that the victim dies with all the anguish and pain of a full case of blood -poison- ing, all the suffering of a protracted illness being crowded into the space of a few hours. \Of all snakes none is at bottom a more noble reptile than that peculial. to our own country. Never yet has a rattler struck before giving warn- ing. The signal, as is well known, is emitted from the rattles at the tail of the snake. In sound it resembles the lar-away rattle of a mowing ma- chine in a country meadow or the hissing emitted by t!.e escape of steam from an ordinary radiator. Among the dangerous snakes of our own south perhaps not another can come up to the cottonmouth mocca- sin. He is one of the iew poisonous water snakes in existence. But his bite ,s almost as tatel as that of the rattler himself. Ari the swamps and canebrakes of North and South Caro- lina the moccasin is at home. Here he lies awaiting anything that comes along in the Ilan line, from frog to minnows. \in the reptile -house, when we have a brood of young rattlers or baby eve., pasible care is tak- en in their handling. The youngsters require more care than the older kind. it is necessary to cnange their water oitener and teed them at shorter .n- tei vats. In a large glass box showing plainly from all sides where the little ones are located the babies are kept. The snake man detailed to handle them is provided with long foceps. After opening the noor with care it Is necessary to move some of the brood near the water or the food tiough to be cleaned. One or two oil the reptiles are picked up between the thin forelegs of the instrument anu thrown into a heap in the further corner of the cage. Tneie it is emus ing to watch their wrath at having been disturbed. Tne little ones coil into a spiral, their heads are extended and with the tiny tall, as yet unpos- sessed of rattles, they periorm a tremolo, as if warning the intruder away. \As to chemical analysis of cobra poisons a curious tart is that two sm.stances having almost identically the same chemical composition can nave effects so different on the human system as to represent on toe one nand the best supporter of lite and on the other the quickest termination or the same. \Albumen or white of an egg, and the potion of the Indian cobra are so nearly alike In composition that it takes the most careful analysis to de- termine the difference, it was the siinilaiity which ior a long time bat- tled scientists in finding a remedy wuich would destroy cobra poison tak- en into the human system. It was ar- gust. that whatever was administered to attack the poison would as well attack the albumen of the human sys- tem, and that the cure would be as ban as the disease. \The efforts of scientists towar , 1 solving the problem of centralizing snake poisons have been unremitting ever since chemistry and medicines nave been known to man. In our lat- itude it is difficult to understand the.: the curse of the snake still rests heavily on man. But in India and in the jungle countries of South Amer- ica the death rate due to snake bites is enormous. Annually the Indian list of cobra victims numbers thousands, not to mention the victims fallen to the venom of other snakes. The prob- lem, hoitever, has been solved of re- cent years; anti-texen, the same rem- edy applied in the case of diphtheria, being the antidote. even here in the reptile -house we keep a vial of the liquid fresh and on Ice, ready for ac- cidents.\ BUSINESS and RESIDENT LOTS In the Town of Kendall are now on the Market 4 K ENDALL Is the Great Gold Camp of Montana And Now Is the Time to Secure Town Property Those who bought lots last fall can now realize Five Times morethan they invested, and the boom has scarcely commenced.J1Jtjtjtottjt u S All the information desired at my office in Kendall. W. A. SHAULES The Montana Land and Live Stock Exchange is my agent in Helena, rlontana.

Kendall Chronicle (Kendall, Mont.), 18 Nov. 1902, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.