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Unseasonal visitor a deadly fellow - NZ Press Item


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Inviato da Wes von Papinešu on Giugno 03, 2000 at 21:29:25:

NEW ZEALAND HERALD (Auckland) 03 June 00 Unseasonal visitor a brown and yellow deadly fellow (Anne Beston)
A man walking his dog on Waiheke's Onetangi Beach thought the long thin brown thing on the sand was a stick, but when he bent down to pick it up, it moved.
The "stick" was a live 1m yellow- bellied sea snake, a native of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Island areas and commonly found off the northern coast of Australia.
Like all sea snakes, it is highly venomous. Just one-third of the amount of venom injected in any one bite can be fatal to humans, causing respiratory problems and muscular paralysis.
"It was really lovely, though, quite beautiful," said Laurie Pearson, who works at the Onetangi Store and who helped catch the snake.
Locals phoned the police, who in turn contacted Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Conservation Department staff.
The brown and yellow snake was taken to Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World but died overnight.
DoC officer Peter Younger said it was unusual for the snake to be this far south, especially so late in the year.
"They like tropical climates. They can't survive in cold water."
He said the department's first concern was that children might have found the snake without knowing how dangerous it was.
"The likelihood of getting a bite from one of these things is not that great. There's no anti-venom vaccine in New Zealand.
"If people see them, they should get in touch with us."
About six sea snakes wash up on New Zealand's coast each year. In January one was found on Tai Tokerau Beach in Northland and they have been discovered at Piha.
The snake has a small mouth and flat tail, but the size of its mouth is misleading - it has a double-hinging arrangement which means its bite is quite large.



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