Maplesville students learn about snakes

Published 11:13 pm Thursday, March 4, 2010

Maplesville students learned about snakes Thursday — and even got up close and personal with one Burmese python.

Becky Yarbrough from Yarbrough’s Reptile Program visited the school, teaching students all about the animals.

The oohs and aahs filled the auditorium as students were shown common, nonpoisonous snakes, Alabama’s four venomous snakes, a giant lizard and the python.

Yarbrough told the students that a bite from a nonpoisonous snake would be painful, but not too bad. She described it as more of a briar scratch and that she had been bitten several times by nonpoisonous snakes.

She told students they would know if they had been bitten by a venomous snake because of the immense pain, swelling and discoloration.

In that instance, Yarbrough told students to remain calm and get to a hospital or doctor fast.

“If you are a normal, healthy person, you will survive (with medical treatment),” she said.

Still, she said the best option would be to just leave snakes alone — period.

Yarbrough showed students common garter and rat snakes, and explained the coloring difference between the poisonous coral snake and the scarlet king snake.

She also displayed three of Alabama’s four poisonous snakes – copperheads, cottonmouths and rattlesnakes. She didn’t have a live coral snakes, but made due with a rubber one instead.

But the biggest response from the students came for the Burmese python, which several students got to help hold for everyone else to see.