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May 5, 2011

Avoid wildlife displaced by flood waters

Due to flooding in parts of Tennessee, especially in West Tennessee, many wild animals are concentrating on higher ground.

Residents should take special precaution to avoid risk of injury by approaching these wild animals, already under stress, as they are forced from their natural habitats by flood waters.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will not be relocating these displaced animals and encourages residents to observe the animals from a safe distance.

According to TWRA, this also is snake mating season for cottonmouth water moccasins, making the reptiles more aggressive.

If someone is bitten by a snake:

Do NOT allow the person to become over-exerted. If necessary, carry the person to safety.
Do NOT apply a tourniquet.
Do NOT apply cold compresses to a snake bite.
Do NOT cut into a snake bite with a knife or razor.
Do NOT try to suck out the venom by mouth.
Do NOT give the person stimulants or pain medications unless a doctor tells you to do so.
Do NOT give the person anything by mouth.
Do NOT raise the site of the bite above the level of the person’s heart.

Do try to remember the appearance of the snake for identification/treatment purposes and go to the nearest hospital for treatment or contact a local health provider to get care immediately.

For more information, go to the website at