Residents of the emirate have raised alarm over the growing number of snakes around their homes.
The last of these was a 15-cm-long, saw-scaled viper spotted by a European national at his house in Mina Al Arab. Luckily, the man was with his friends who helped him get rid of the deadly viper, pushing it outdoors along with a cat that was playing with it.
The RAK Animal Welfare Centre, alerted about the snake, immediately dispatched an entrapment team who managed to take it away.
Dr Chenjerai Sigauke, medical manager of the centre, said the saw-scaled viper is one of the deadliest reptiles on earth. "It is a venomous snake found in this region, Pakistan and some parts of Africa."
He added that the snake is more active at night and produces a "sizzling" sound when confronted. "The viper's venom destroys blood cells and body tissues, which may lead to excessive bleeding."
A few months ago, the RAK Civil Defence team caught and killed another snake at a house in Julphar area. A large snake also emerged from a sewage pipe at Qasimia Boys School some time back.
The RAK Civil Defence department has urged residents to keep their doors closed at all times, as snakes tend to come searching for shade and lower temperatures in nearby homes.
Amro Majdi, a resident of Al Rams area, said he and some friends recently killed two large poisonous snakes in their community. "These snakes must have come from the mountains surrounding the area," he said.
Reda Al Saeed, a resident of Julphar, said the piles of building materials, particularly sand, in their neighbourhood must be cleared as these seemed to be a convenient hideout for the reptiles.
Dr Tamer Al Hussaini, a veterinarian, told Khaleej Times that saw-scaled vipers prefer sandy desert areas but they are attracted to residential areas because of the abundance of prey and water.
Up to 40 saw-scaled vipers are regularly spotted in Sharjah's industrial area, according to official reports.
Dr Hussaini said that any person bitten by a snake must be immediately taken to the hospital, firmly warning against cutting the wounded area to "release the venom".
"This bad practice only increases and worsens the blood loss," he said. "Though the venom prevents the blood from clotting, the human body reacts to it from six to 72 hours."
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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