Story by Cpl Andrew King on 09/23/2019"DON'T MESS WITH THE WILDLIFE," screamed your drill instructor during boot camp.
We've all heard it a thousand times, whether from our drill instructors at boot camp, our combat instructors at Marine Combat Training, to every staff sergeant during a field operation, but let's be honest, you've thought about messing with the wildlife haven't you?
Now we know you think it sounds like a good idea to drunkenly fight the bear who just crashed your barracks party at 1 a.m., or try and emulate the Royal Thai Marines and catch a snake so you can drink it's blood but it really isn't.
"I would hate to have to call your next of kin and tell them you've been mauled by a bear, or bitten by a rattlesnake and are in the intensive care unit on life support," said Lt. Col. Patrick Lindstrom, the executive officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina.
MCAS Cherry Point is home to a plethora of different animals, some that can kill you in incredibly painful ways like deer, alligators, tiger sharks, multiple types of venomous snakes and, while rare, bears; and others who can cause you serious harm like spiders, wild turkeys, hawks, foxes and jellyfish.
"Leave the wildlife alone," said Alan Steinhauer, the MCAS Cherry Point game warden. "If you feel threatened, call us, other than that, if a fox is walking across your lawn in base housing just leave it alone."
Spring and summer are the most dangerous times of the year when it comes to encountering wildlife. The best course of action when you are outside is to be constantly vigilant of your surroundings and if you notice a wild animal, or signs of an animal where you are, leave the area immediately.
If you get attacked by a wild animal call 911 immediately and if you get bit by a snake, make sure that you are able to identify the type of snake so that if anti-venom is needed, medical personnel will be able to administer the correct type.
Areas with high amounts of wildlife on base are dense wooded areas, wet marshy areas and near bodies of water such as ponds and creeks.
If you notice venomous snakes or other wild animals that can cause you harm at your residence or work section, you can contact the game warden's office to have the animal relocated to a different area.
For further information on regulations and safety concerns, contact the game warden at 252-466-3242.