Slithery snakes: what to do and believe

A reptile expert talks about ways to stay safe if confronted by a snake.

ABILENE - Texas is home of hundreds of species of snakes, but in Taylor County three species are very prominent. 

Matt Strawn, primary reptile keeper said, "We have the western diamondback which is probably going to be the most common and prolific that we see. You're gonna have the copperhead and then we're also gonna have a very reclusive snake called a western masasaga."

He said these snakes are venomous but generally are not going to harm anyone, unless if they are provoked. 

"They just don't want to be around you," Strawn said.

Strawn also said the myth about rattle snakes adapting by not rattling anymore when threaten is false.  

"Rattlesnakes just don't rattle that often anyway, the rattle is an almost final auditory warning right before the bite," Strawn said. 

Strawn also said baby rattlers are not more dangerous than full grown snakes. 

"A controlled bite form the adult will still be a much greater dose than the babies. So it's a complete myth that the babies are more toxic," Strawn said. 

But if a person finds them self accompanied by one of these snakes, Strawn suggests to stay calm. 

"The best thing to do is not run away, don't make any sudden movements and leave it alone, leave it alone and just calmly walk away," Strawn added, "If you do happen to be bitten by a snake in Texas please just go straight to the hospital."

Strawn did say that people rarely die from snake bites and all hospitals in the area are fully equipped with anti-venom. 

Strawn even stuck up for the slithery creatures saying, "they really aren't bad guys, they are just misunderstood and people should take the time to learn about them instead of being scared."

© 2017 KXVA-TV


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