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People warned to keep away from Taiwan pit vipers

Leave Taiwan pit vipers be, as there is currently no antivenom for them

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Taiwan pit viper. (Forest Bureau photo)

Taiwan pit viper. (Forest Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — People going mountaineering in central Taiwan are urged to avoid Taiwan pit vipers, as there is currently no antivenom for this type of snake.

Pit viper sightings have been reported recently in the Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area in Taichung, which is at an altitude of about 2,000 meters. The endemic species thrives at elevations of 2,000 to 3,500 meters.

While pit vipers are known to have a mild temperament and will not attack unless provoked, special caution is needed to prevent a bite because of the lack of venom antiserum, according to the Forest Bureau.

In the event of an encounter, remain calm and move out of the snake’s way. Do not disturb the animal or attempt to kill it.

To mitigate the risk, wear pants and long sleeves and tap the ground with a walking stick before entering an area where there may be snakes. If bitten, remember the characteristics of the snake and seek medical aid as quickly as possible, the bureau added.

People warned to keep away from Taiwan pit vipers
Taiwan pit viper. (Forest Bureau photo)