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'Strange-looking snake' in Nova Scotia

By Brandigal (Donna)     Jun 4, 2007 in Environment
A man was bitten through his shoe by a strange looking snake as he was walking through a wooden area of Dartmouth.
An unidentified man was walking on a path in a wooded area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia when he was bitten by a strange looking snake.
He described the snake as black with a gold diamond shaped pattern on its back. He said it was thick and about a foot long with long sharp fangs that were able to bite through his shoe and bite his toe.
The man began to feel flu like symptoms and some tingling in his leg. He thought it was a poisonous snake. The man was treated and is doing well.
Const. Jeff Carr said He had a very detailed description, and it didn’t sound like a garter snake,” It almost sounded like some sort of an exotic snake ... You never know.”
Andrew Hebda, curator of zoology at the Museum of Natural History said “Could it have been an exotic snake? The answer is that possibility always exists,” “This is a port town and we do get things coming in containers or people’s luggage.”
Hebda however thinks it is a better possibility that the snake was a black garter snake that is known in Nova Scotia. It is not venomous. They have been known to attack if they are defending a well liked spot.
He said complex proteins found in the snake’s saliva, and bacteria found on the shoe, could have caused a reaction in the bite victim.
No snake has been found yet and until they find it they cannot say what it was.
In the meantime, police have issued a warning to the public to watch for a “strange-looking snake”.
Nova Scotia has 5 different snakes that are native to the area. They are garter snakes, green snakes, red-bellied snakes, ring-necked snakes and ribbon snakes.
Neil Meister, president of the Nova Scotia Herpetoculture Society said All of these snakes do not normally have fangs long enough to bite through a boot. But they also said if the snake that bit him was poisonous, he would still be in the hospital and the skin around the bite would be necrotic.
In 2005, a Palestine viper was found by a Halifax dock worker on top of a bag of watermelon seeds. It was caught and euthanized. That snake is very deadly and if bite, you could die within 10 minutes.
I would not be walking in the woods anytime soon if I was there.
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