Still reeling from swarms of football fans, tropical heat and pestering gnats, Volgograd now appears to be bracing for a deadly snake invasion.
The World Cup host city in southern Russia is preparing to welcome thousands of fans from Japan and Poland for Tuesday’s Group H game, the last of the tournament to be played in the Volgograd Arena. City authorities deployed a truck to spray roads with vanilla extract and handed out wipes with insect repellent last week to help fans ward off the insects.
This week local rescue workers are warning of venomous vipers crossing the Volga River and crawling toward Volgograd Arena, the V1.ru news website reported.
“They can easily overcome a distance of 3 kilometers and creep ashore,” Alexander Sivolobov, head of search and rescue in Volgograd, told V1.ru on Thursday.
The city saw a “significant increase” in viper sightings as temperatures reached reached heat levels, prompting officials to issue emergency heat warnings.
“We call on Volgograd’s swimmers to be more attentive in the water and on the shore,” Sivolobov warned.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.