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Posted by WW on May 13, 2003 at 03:58:43:
In Reply to: WA Press: Tread carefully, because it's big, black, slithery posted by W von Papinešu on May 12, 2003 at 21:23:36:
Certainly seems that way when snakes come into it.
:A big black snake made two appearances Sunday in the 62nd Medical Brigade headquarters camp. Witnesses said it was at least 6 feet long and as thick as a man's wrist.
And therefore not almost certainly not Walterinnesia, which are usually under 4 ft. long, nocturnal and rarely seen.
:It showed up first in the morning, when it slithered past Spc. Emily Caraballo and Lt. Heather Tanner, into one of the sleep tents and out of sight.
:Then, in the afternoon, it crawled right through a group of the Fort Lewis troops as they relaxed under a tent pavilion. Two sergeants screeched. A major fell over backward in his chair trying to get out of the way. Chaos ensued.
:A bunch of soldiers chased the thing with poles and a shovel, but it eluded them again, this time slipping into some tall weeds and grass.
:It's probably for the better that they didn't catch up with it. More than likely it was a desert black snake, or Walterinnesia aegyptica.
More than likely not since Walterinnesia is mostly nocturnal and much smaller.
: The Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center lists its venom as "neurotoxic - markedly so."
Pity Armed Forces Military "Intelligence" didn't think to mention the possibility that not all snakes are venomous, and that there might just be a few other candidates out there - e.g. Coluber jugularis, which just happens to be black, very large (to ~ 8ft), diurnal, and found in northern Iraq.