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Paddlers be careful

October 30, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

I recently was reminded that the Southwest Florida is part of the Everglades. That means this is wild jungle like country. Early pioneers encountered all manner of dangers like, deadly snakes, insects, and alligators. They had hurricanes, floods, and drought to contend with.

While driving home from a paddle recently I encountered a good size eastern diamondback rattle snake. They like our pine forest but all the rain this year flooded a lot of their habit. This one was nearly dead and had been run over by a car. He was still strong enough to strike at me before he died. I have always had snakes as pets and was saddened to have to put this one down. But I hate to see any animal suffer. I removed his skin and tail and cured them because I also hated to see him go to waste. He will become part of our resource and information center for paddlers.

The eastern diamondback bite can be fatal and often causes severe tissue damage and destruction. The one I encountered was over 4 foot long but they can go close to eight feet long. Follow us on Face Book at or visit us a

John Paeno

Bonita Springs



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