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Dangerous encounter

Dangerous encounter
Photo Information
Copyright: petru damsa (petrudamsa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 562 W: 77 N: 725] (2544)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1997-08
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Zenit EM
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-01-22 10:38
Viewed: 5143
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was one of the most dangerous encounters I had in my trips.

A not too big snake, (altough this in the picture was somewhere near 1 m long) but the most venomous animal to live in Romania. Vipera berus likes mountains with full sun exposition. Can be sometimes found in the lowlands plains too. It is recognizable by the specific romboidal pattern on his back. There are three more species of Vipera in Romania, all having this pattern but some different head markings, all as dangerous (or even more) as this one, but they are more regional.
The bite is a nasty thing, and if not promptly treated, causes serious and immediate health problems (sometimes as soon as 30 min after the venom was injected) even in healty adult persons.
It is not strong enough to kill a horse though and that's the man's escape. Injecting deliberately an adder venom potion in a horse, force the animal to produce antibodies; than from the horse's blood an antiviperin serum is extracted and administrated in the human victim's bloodstream.

However, the serum can't be stored for long time and needs special storing conditions (minus 4 celsius as I know); moreover the serum must have specific antibodies for each Vipera specie, because the composition of venom is different in each specie.

marhowie, Dave, wallhalla15, red45, Wahclellaspirit, livios, moemf, cedryk, loot, pablominto, ScottHale, sebcz has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Alex_Strugariu: notes and free languagepetrudamsa 4 07-29 05:05
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Critiques [Translate]

Great "in-the-wild" Petru. Good detail, light and color. I've had one encounter with a "venomous" snake with my camera, but it was gone before I could capture. Well done.
Thank You!

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2006-01-22 13:25]

Excellent composition and note Petru!
Nicely done!

Hello Petru,
This is a very nice capture with great colours and sharpness. Very good composition. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-22 14:27]

Hi Petru!

You're lucky and brave man to take picture of this viper. This is very dangerous animal, one and only deadly poisonous animal in Poland. Great looking brown BG, good details, especially zigzag on its back.

Great shot of this Viper. It looks very similar to our rattlesnake in the U.S. This snakes camouflage is excellent for its surroundings. You had a good eye that day, or else----?
Nice shot...

Awesome capture of this dangeropus encounter. Well done Petru. :)

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-01-23 12:50]

Petru, great shot, great title.

I like your note.

I've never met one of these before. If I find, will I have courage enough to take a picture?

I have never seen a viper, but I always wanted so thank you.Nice picture

Iaca si napirca! Fain!

  • Great 
  • moemf Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 0 N: 160] (703)
  • [2006-01-25 10:11]

Hi Petru

Truly dangerous, but a wonderful shot. The composition is great with excellent POV. Lovely natural environment illustrates its camouflage.



P.S. I was looking for a snake to photograph on our Botswana trip in December, but could not find one. Anyway, I would have settled for a non-venomous grass snake. :)

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2006-01-29 14:39]

Hello Petru,
As I know Vipera berus is the least dangerous among the Romanian snakes - quite comparable with Vipera ursinii in fact. Much worse is Vipera ammodytes.
And they do not bite if they are not teased :-)
Once my friend was bitten while making a closeup of this species. The viper hit her finger - but nothing serious really happened :-)
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-02-02 19:26]
  • [2]

Hi Petru
From what I can see this is typical viper (adder) build. Short, thick and slow about, but normally if they strike it is lightning fast.

I include a short piece of information I picked up on ARKive. Although adders are poisonous, they are not aggressive and rarely bite humans or domestic animals, preferring to retreat into thick vegetation instead. Most adder bite incidents result when they are picked up or trodden upon, and in most cases they are not serious. The elderly, the very young or people in ill health are at most risk. Having said that, that doesn't make it less venemous though. Good capture and welld done braveheart. TFS

Hi Petru,
Not my favourite subject... in any sense!
But I have to admit you capture him well and without visible handshake, hehehehehe!
Good composition, DOF spot on... pleasant colours and details!
Pablo -

Here is what is wrong with your notes:

"somewhere near 1 m long" - are you reffering to the lenght of the snake ? If so, You are over-apreciating the its size.

" Can't be found in the lowlands plains."
- Fals, there are several lowland populations in Romania, not to mention the rest of Europe.

" often leading to death even in healty adult persons."
- this realy, realy pisses me off. where did you find this crap ? extremely few people have died from Vipera berus envenomation. this was the thing that pushed me off the edge. Like I said: RESPONSABILITY, look it up...


I'd have dropped my camera and ran! (NOT!)
Great capture here, I like the pattern on this snake. Good capture and I'm glad you didn't get bit!

  • Great 
  • sebcz (6)
  • [2006-09-21 4:25]

Thrilllssss !! Good shot and a vivid story behind it. I know taking a snap on a snake is not easy, congratulations on your performance!

Hi Petru,
This looks like the Adder we used to find in England.
I was by a river with my father once. I turned over a log and there was a snake just like this underneath. When it moved off its nest, there were some small white eggs, and a little plastic toy white horse !
Strange huh ?

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