Poisonous Snake Found on California Beach

December 5, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. rare / rɛər / (adj.) – describing an event that does not happen often
Example: Solar eclipses are rare events.

2. warm / wɔrm / (adj.) – describing the feeling of experiencing heat
Example: It is a sunny day so it is warm outside.

3. encounter / ɛnˈkaʊn tər / (n.) – a meeting with a person or thing
Example: His first encounter with a starfish was at a beach.

4. poisonous /ˈpɔɪ zə nəs / (adj.) – containing a substance that is harmful to one’s health
Example: She thought the frog she saw was poisonous.

5. avoid / əˈvɔɪd / (v.) – to stay away from someone or something
Example: You should avoid strangers.


Read the text below.
A yellow-bellied sea snake, a kind of poisonous snake, was spotted at a beach in Oxnard, Southern California.

It was spotted by a man named Bob Forbes one Friday morning in October. He then tried to contact different agencies to capture the snake, which was already ill at the time it was found. It died before it was picked up by Greg Pauly of the Natural History Museum.

Pauly said that although the encounter was rare, it was expected. Although the Pacific Coast of North America is too cold for yellow-bellied sea snakes, the El Niño phenomenon has recently heated its waters, attracting the snakes which thrive in warm, tropical waters.

The snakes are very poisonous. Their venom works by attacking the nervous system, and an untreated bite can be critical. However, the snakes are not significantly dangerous to people for two reasons. First, they do not actively seek people out as prey, and bites occur mostly because people handled the snakes. Second, because they have a small mouth, it is unlikely that the amount of venom will be lethal if they do bite a person in an encounter.

Still, the public is warned of the snakes' presence and cautioned to avoid any that are spotted. In addition, people who see the snakes are also encouraged to take as many photos as possible and note the exact location of where they saw it. The information obtained will aid scientists in knowing more about the unwelcome snakes.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In what other situations can people encounter snakes? Enumerate and describe as many as you can.
·         What are some disadvantages of yellow-bellied snakes appearing in beaches with many people?

Discussion B

·         What are some dangerous animals in your country aside from snakes?
·         What will you do if you encounter these animals?

December 5, 2015