A local resident with a venomous snake bite rushed to hospital...More favorite photos...


Rhino mom and baby.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
A bushbuck, duiker and several helmeted guineafowls, sharing pellets in our garden.
A few evenings ago, we heard sirens in the area.  As it turned out, it was the Marloth Park Securicon ambulance transporting a local victim of snakebite to the hospital in Nelspruit, the closest private hospital in the area where I recently had four surgical procedures.
Impalas the water hole in Verhami Dam in Kruger National Park.
Apparently, according to a post on Facebook, the resident or tourist was bitten by a stiletto snake in their garden which according to the African Snakebite Institute is as follows:  

"The Stiletto Snake (Atractaspis bibronii), previously known as a Mole Adder, is a highly venomous but harmless-looking snake that accounts for numerous snakebites during the summer months in Southern Africa.
More impalas at the Verhami Dam.
This fossorial snake spends most of its life underground where it hunts for other snakes and lizards. It does come to the surface, usually in the early evening, and especially after rain. To effectively bite within the limited space of burrows, the Stiletto Snake has particularly long fangs which it can protrude independently and ‘stab’ its prey. 

Whereas most snakes can open their mouths up to around 170 degrees, this snake can only open its mouth as wide as 55 degrees. If gripped behind the head, the Stiletto snake just protrudes a fang and twists its head sideways to inflict a bite from a single fang.

Here is a photo (not ours) of the stiletto snake:
A stiletto snake often appears to be one of many harmless snakes.
The venom of this snake, though not generally considered potentially fatal, is potently cytotoxic causing severe pain, swelling, blistering and in many cases tissue damage. Many victims lose a digit. As there is no antivenom, doctors can only treat for pain, rehydrate the patient and then wait a few days to see how extensive the tissue damage is. 
A southern ground hornbill in Kruger National Park.
In a paper on the treatment of stiletto snake bites, Tilbury and Branch caution doctors not to resort to surgical intervention in the first few days following a bite, nor to lance blisters, as early surgical intervention seldom has a good outcome. There is no evidence that the early administration of antibiotics has any benefit.
Rhino resting under the shade of a tree.
This snake is quite difficult to identify and is often mistaken for one of the harmless snakes. There are a few features one can look for in order to identify a Stiletto snake. The body and belly may be the same dark brown to blackish color but in many areas, the body is brown to blackish and the belly white."

Certainly, this incident and others serve as a warning to local residents and visitors to Marloth Park.  At night, anytime we're entering or exiting the car, I always remind Tom and any friends with us, "Watch out for snakes."
A fish eagle scouring the area for her next meal.
Oftentimes, snakebites at night are a result of not watching where one is walking in the dark and then stepping on such a snake.  It's imperative to use a flashlight or small LED keychain light when going from house to car and back.
Rhino on the move.
We haven't heard how the victim of the bite is doing but we'll continue to watch for any report that may be posted on Facebook in the next few days and report back here.

This morning, once again, we headed back to Doc Theo in Komatipoort for further treatment on my legs, particularly my left leg which has been the biggest concern.
Rhino hanging out with warthogs.
After he'd slathered the wound with the burning honey based cream and re-bandaged it on Tuesday, keeping me awake all night as it dissolved the dead tissue, the improvement was visible but not as much as we would have liked.

Again, this morning, he slathered the cream on both legs and within about 30 minutes, the burning began as it had on Tuesday.  Today and tonight will be long as I deal with the constant burning sensation.
Boat and trailer stuck while attempting to cross the Crocodile Bridge on its way out of Kruger.  That day, we had to drive all the way to the Malelane exit which took us an additional three hours.
However, knowing the product is working and is not a result of some other issue, the pain is tolerable.  Again, I'm taking the Tylenol/Paracetamol-based pain medication every four to six hours to keep the discomfort at bay.  It does seem to help.

Not much is required of me today.  If I'm able I'll get back to work on logging more receipts/expenses today on the spreadsheet.  This is more of a hassle than one would expect when I have to convert each receipt's amount from rand (ZAR) to US dollars and enter the correct amounts on the appropriate worksheet in the Excel workbook.  I'll be thrilled to be done.

May your day be pleasant.
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Photo from one year ago today, April 25, 2018:
The well-equipped modern treatment room was the most sophisticated we'd seen in years with the latest and most professional equipment.  We have both been to Dr. Luzanne many times in this past year.  For more details, please click here.

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