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Snakes, Snakebite Selfies Up in Russia Due to Rainy Summer

The snake population has risen in and around Moscow following this summer's chilly, wet weather, news website Russkaya Sluzhba Novostey (RSN) reported Wednesday.

“During these rainy summer days, the snake population has increased in New Moscow, Ismailovsky Park and Moose Island National Park,” herpetologist Vladislav Starkov told RSN, adding that suburban areas near the Desna and Pakhra rivers in the southern part of the Moscow region have particularly high numbers of reptiles now.

Starkov advised people who encounter a snake to not panic, but remain calm and do not attempt to catch it.

“Vipers do not attack first and are harmless,” Starkov said.

Nevertheless, with the increase in the snake population, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of people who have reported being attacked by snakes.

Two residents in the Lipetsk region southeast of Moscow were recently hospitalized after receiving bites from poisonous snakes, news agency Regnum reported Tuesday.

A man from the town of Yelets accidentally stepped on a viper while fishing and was bitten on the leg.

In a separate incident in the region, a woman was bitten by a snake while trying to take a selfie in the reeds on the edge of a pond. She walked into the area barefoot and stepped on a snake, which subsequently bit her. She was brought to the toxicological department of the regional hospital with severe swelling in her foot, Regnum reported.

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