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Snakes in the Park

August 20, 1987

Michael Welzenbach's articles about Griffith Park in The Times of Saturday, Aug. 8 ("In the Outback of L.A.") were generally excellent.

In fact, the articles were interesting enough to draw a friend and me into a Saturday afternoon hike. I can now testify that there are rattlesnakes in the park, having come within about 12 inches of stepping on a large rattler. Fortunately, the snake was as frightened as I was.

Though the articles were interesting, Welzenbach's medical knowledge leaves a lot to be desired. As long ago as 1979, the American Red Cross was recommending "the old sterile penknife, tourniquet, and sucking" only if severe symptoms develop--and even in that instance, a constricting band, not a tourniquet, is advised.

MASON M. SMITH

Burbank

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