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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Be careful when hiking in the Tatras. It got warmer, zigzag vipers appeared

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Because the last days were very warm, the zig-zag adders (Vipera berus) started to appear in the Tatra Mountains. These animals are the only venomous snakes in Poland and can be dangerous. The authorities of the Tatra National Park (TPN) appealed to tourists to stick to the marked trails while hiking.

In the Tatra clearings among the crocuses, especially in sunny places, you can meet poisonous vipers. “While admiring the purple flowers, for your own safety, you must not leave the marked trails” – warns the Tatra National Park (TPN).

“Warm spring days meant that over the last weekend in the Chochołowska Valley, zigzag adders could be found among the crocuses. The open space of the clearing is an ideal place for them to bask. We remind you not to leave the trail” – reads the TPN announcement.

TPN published on its social profile photos of vipers basking among crocuses. In the photographs you can see vipers in the gray variety, with a characteristic zigzag on the back, and a rare black, melanistic variety, without a distinctive zigzag.

She is poisonous

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Zig-zag viper (Vipera berus) is the only venomous snake in Poland. A viper attacks only in a situation of direct threat to it, most often reflexively, when it is accidentally stepped on or surprised in a place where there is no possibility of further escape. Whenever possible, he always gets out of the way.

Vipera berus (Vipera berus)Shutterstock

The venom of the zig-zag viper can be dangerous, but tragic accidents happen incidentally, because according to statistics, only a percentage of bites result in death. Cases of snake bites are usually caused by carelessness or bravado of a person.

The zig-zag viper can reach up to one meter in length. It feeds mainly on small mammals and rodents. The mating season of vipers falls at the turn of April and May. Females lay up to 15 eggs.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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