Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency has issued a warning to the public on Thursday, urging them to be cautious of sea snakes on beaches as temperatures begin to fall.
The agency stated that anyone who encounters a sea snake should not touch or try to catch it.
“Anyone encountering a sea snake is urged to avoid touching it or trying to catch it, and to inform the beach’s management or call Abu Dhabi Government call center on 800 555. Anyone bitten by a sea snake must go to hospital immediately,” it said in a statement posted to Twitter.
They added that sea snakes, known as “Bu jinn,” in the local Arabic dialect, do not usually cause harm to people unless they are provoked. They can often be found in shallow waters when they are feeding and breeding.
“They swim to shallow waters to feed and breed and can be seen swimming in open waters or close to beaches, especially on Saadiyat Island and at Abu Dhabi Corniche.”
Sea snakes usually prefer cooler temperatures of around 22 degrees Celsius, which is in the range of temperatures during the winter months in the United Arab Emirates.
Despite being considered mild tempered, they are very poisonous.
There are 70 known species of the sea snake, six of which can be found in the UAE.