Watch out for vipers

HoggormHoggorm:Photo: wikimedia.org

A mild winter entails that many vipers have survived the winter. Now they are coming out of hibernation to warm themselves, which is to some people’s disdain.

Many are frightened when they encounter poisonous vipers. Scientists are however rather fascinated and see them as useful creatures. During one summer, a single viper consumes up to 25 mice, and they therefore make good inroads in the mouse population.

Inherent instinct

Viper expert Ragnar Hylland says that we have an innate instinct that tells us that we should be afraid of vipers, but that we should not be worried.

– I think that most people know of anybody bitten by a viper, he said.

Bites when it is scared

The striped serpent will only strike in connection with hunting or when it is afraid and feels threatened. Since 2005, the average is of 125 people bitten by a viper (huggorm).

– Of these, only 10 percent are really seriously affected. There is ten years between every time people die of viper bites in Norway. There is many more dying from wasp stings than due to vipers, says the expert.

 

Source: nrk.no / Norway Today

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