A local video has surfaced on social media showing an unidentified man displaying a dead seven-foot long Fer de Lance snake. SEE VIDEO BELOW ARTICLE
The video, uploaded by ‘Raddac Radigan on Facebook at 7:18 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, is captioned “Fer de Lance Snake caught in Fond St. Jacque, Soufriere”.
Called the Saint Lucia viper, Saint Lucia Fer de Lance (Bothrops caribbaeus) and serpent, this snake is one of four species of snakes found on the island, according to a March 14, 2017 St. Lucia News Online article, written by Jeannette Victor of the Forestry Department.
The color of the skin varies from yellow, light grey, dark grey but the head is the same triangular or lance shape, Victor said, adding that their diet includes small birds and mammals — not humans.
A number of snake sightings have been reported on island since the start of the year. The most common sightings are that of the Saint Lucia Boa.
WHERE IS THE FER DE LANCE FOUND?
Victor stated that the Fer de Lance snakes are often found along the western communities of Anse La Raye, Canaries, Millet and the eastern communities of Dennery and Praslin.
“They may occur in other places by means of flooding, being transported unknowingly on a vehicle or in search of food,” Victor wrote.
Fer de Lance is not one of the protected species but it is illegal to kill them “within the forest reserve,” Victor said.
“The four snakes that inhabit this land all bear the name of our country Saint Lucia,” she said “The Saint Lucia Fer de Lance, Saint Lucia Boa, Saint Lucia Racer and the Saint Lucia Thread snake are all endemic species, which means they can only occur naturally here. They have been here for eons but the law protects only the Saint Lucia Boa, Saint Lucia Racer and Saint Lucia Thread snake, so it is illegal to kill them.
The Fer de Lance species may also hold research value, according to the official.
“The full potential of this species have not been explored. We have yet to know the medicinal values of the venom,” Victor said.
WHAT TO DO IF BITTEN
A bite from the snake is potentially deadly if not treated in the right way and on time. Several persons in Saint Lucia are known to have died, over the years, after being bitten by the Fer de Lance.
Victor said a bite from this snake can be prevented by remaining vigilant in the areas the snake is known to frequent, wearing protective gear, such as boots and snake chaps, when venturing out.
She also gave advice on what to do when bitten.
“In case of a bite, stay calm and get to the Victoria Hospital (VH) as soon as possible to be treated with the anti-venom available there. If possible, call ahead so that VH can prepare for your arrival. DO NOT interfere with the bite in any way. Do not suck on it or bandage it as this may make the situation worse. Most persons make a 100 per cent recovery if they are treated within three hours or less,” Victor wrote.
Below is a video of the snake, without audio. If you would like to view a video with audio, please CLICK HERE