There is no increase in viper numbers in 2017!

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In Romania, the reptiles (thus the vipers too) hibernate in winter, so their annual activity period is from spring to autumn. But even during this period, the observations probability differs. Often snakes use common hibernacula, and that’s why in spring they may be crowded around the entry. These are the so called viper-nests people often speak about, and this is where you can observe spousal agglomerations as well. If one sees such a crowd (which is in fact a rarity), a misconception arises that the number of vipers increased!  Actually, after the breeding period the snakes leave the area and due to the warmer weather they are hardly noticeable. During this period people calm down, but unfortunately only until next year. In the mountains the situation differs as snakes are often visible during the short periods of favourable weather. These clusters of vipers in the vicinity of people are rare, but rumours circulate swiftly through the social-media, backed by the panic induced by news coverage. In these days, in Cluj-Napoca a common viper (Vipera berus) has bitten a dog, and this is very unfortunate. We have to keep in mind however, that in the last decades Cluj occupied the nearby common viper habitats. In this areas hold your dog on a leash and be careful where you sit down. If you are bitten by a viper, call 112! Viper bites are rarely fatal.

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