MONDAY MAIL: Green days and Black Mambas

February 17, 2013 

Stoppin' at the log where catfish bite, walkin' along the river road at night, it's Monday Mail.

Green river

Today's opening is from "Green River," by Credence Clearwater Revival, because in a month we'll be going green as St. Patrick's Day arrives. And then spring comes with the equinox at 7:02 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, March 20.

So St. Patrick's Day is on a Sunday. Good thing we have off-premise Sunday alcohol sales now, huh?

Trees

Speaking of green, Keep Columbus Beautiful marks Arbor Day this Saturday at the Lakebottom Park band shelter off Cherokee Avenue. KCB promises "Tree Walks, Bucket Truck Rides, Free Tree Seedlings, Interactive Nature Activities, Environmental Exhibits, and much more! Country's BBQ will be on site, as well as The Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia selling Girl Scout cookies!"

Don't eat all that before the bucket truck ride.

Snakes

Speaking of driving out snakes, did you hear about the Black Mamba hoax? No? Then get this. It's from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

John Kenneth Rosenbaum, 24, from Jacksonville, Fla., was convicted ... for lying to agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when he orchestrated a hoax concerning a Black Mamba snake.

The evidence revealed that on Nov. 21, 2011, Rosenbaum went to a hospital in south Georgia and reported that he had been bitten by a Black Mamba snake. Black Mamba snakes originate in Africa, are highly aggressive, and have toxic venom that can kill within minutes. It is a violation of the federal Lacey Act to possess a Black Mamba in Georgia. Rosenbaum told an emergency room physician that he had driven across the Florida border to Exit 3 on Interstate 95 for the purpose of buying a Black Mamba snake. Rosenbaum said the snake escaped and bit him. Because Rosenbaum had puncture wounds and had written "Black Mamba Snake" on his arm, the physician immediately began snake-bite treatment, and then called law enforcement.

Over concerns that a Black Mamba snake was on the loose, a coordinated search and investigation by United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Kingsland Police Department, Camden Sheriff's Department, and Florida Fish and Wildlife was mobilized. Rosenbaum continued to tell the story for nearly five months. Federal agents later determined that Rosenbaum had actually been bitten by his pet Egyptian Banded Cobra he kept in his home....

Dear USFWS:

So, to sum up:

How can you tell if a Black Mamba bit you?

It's written on your arm.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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