Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fer-de-lance and More Happy Monkeys

I couldn't resist adding this continuation of the last video (go to the bottom of the previous blog). This is what happened when happy red-backed squirrel monkeys met Bridget on their way to eat bananas. Just as I was beginning to miss the wildness of Mono Feliz and Punta Burica, I stepped outside my condo (about 11:00 p.m. the night before last) and ran into a fer-de-lance snake. It was a 2-foot long juvenile (the worst kind because they don't know how to regulate their venom). According to the Internet (so it must be true), "the fer-de-lance is the most dangerous snake of Central and South America, and causes more human deaths than any other American reptile. On average, a fer-de-lance injects 105mg of venom in one bite, although a venom yield of up to 310mg has been recorded while milking them. The fatal dose for a human is 50mg." I couldn't find anyone at that late hour to tell about the snake, so it is still free. I believe your chances of dying in Panama are much higher by car accident than by snakebite (just ask Pauline about our 2 near misses on the way to Puerto Armuelles).

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