Drought Could Mean More Snakebites - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus

Drought Could Mean More Snakebites

Many of you may have noticed more snakes in wooded areas and parks recently. Wildlife experts say snakes become more active during a drought, which leads to more contact with people, and more snakebites.

Rain-free summer months are perfect for feeding the ducks or spending the day fishing at a pond. But a drought can be dangerous because snakes are out looking for food and water.

"And what that's going to lead to is an increase in encounters with people, which could possibly lead to more bites this summer," said Daniel Walker, Wildlife Coordinator for Oxbow Meadows.

Walker says most snakes bite because people don't leave them alone. "Also, with people not having experience with snakes, and trying to remove them themselves, not knowing proper body mechanics, and things like that," he adds.

Rat snakes are the most common snake you'll see in the Columbus area. Fortunately, the snakes aren't venomous and don't have fangs. But wildlife experts say they will bite if provoked.

Snakes have been striking up some attention recently. Pat Watts takes her grandkids to Cooper Creek Park nearly everyday, and she's noticed more snakes on the trails.

"We try to go walking in the woods and walking around, and we tell them not to touch anything they're not familiar with," said Watts.

Last week, Anthony Gleaves says he saw two water moccasins while he was fishing with his children.

"Best thing to do is keep them away from the woods and water right now, with the drought," said Gleaves.

Wildlife experts say if a snake does bite you, go to a hospital immediately. And if possible, kill the snake and bring it with you so doctors know what type of anti-venom to use.

But experts say the best way to avoid snakebites is to just leave them alone and don't touch them.

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