Wildlife: Watch Out for Snakes

Snake in the grass at Big Bend Ranch State Park

Snake in the grass at Big Bend Ranch State Park

This is Passport to Texas

Now that triple digit heat has given way to mild fall weather, you may decide to spend more time outdoors. If you do—my advice—watch your step.

:07—Probably most people who spend any amount of time hiking in Texas have been within arm’s reach of a diamondback and never knew it.

Andy Gluesenkamp is a herpetologist with TPW. Don’t let what he just said about the big, scary venomous Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (the deadliest snake in North America) keep you locked up indoors.

:07—Diamondbacks would by and large much prefer to avoid contact than get in some sort of fisticuffs with a large animal like a human.

These snakes play defense. They usually hang out in the vicinity of fallen logs, brush piles, rocks. If they think you don’t see them, they’ll lie perfectly still and let you walk on by.

:14—If they feel threatened by you, the first thing that they’ll do is buzz that rattle. [SFX—western Diamondback Rattling]. On rare occasions when somebody reaches their hands into a crevice, or is picking up firewood and grabs a snake or steps on a snake—then they’re going to react violently. And that’s when people tend to get bitten.

Yeah, so don’t do that. We’ll have more fun with snakes tomorrow.

We receive support from the Wildlife Restoration program…working to restore native habitat in Texas…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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