Rattlesnakes are more active in the spring, at least 1 reported bite in Colorado this season

Rattlesnake in Colorado.
Rattlesnake in Colorado.(Fremont County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 9:48 PM MDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office shared a warning on Friday following a report of a rattlesnake bite this year.

The law enforcement agency wanted to remind the public that as we enter warmer weather, we can expect to see more snakes out and about.

Rattlesnakes are often confused with bullsnakes, as they have a similar appearance. Sometimes bullsnakes even mimic rattlesnakes and coil up to ward off possible predators. Both are reptiles that are part of Colorado and both should be left alone. While bullsnakes are practically harmless to people, rattlesnakes are one of 19 species of venomous snakes in the United States. The obvious giveaway in telling the difference is the rattle at the end of a rattlesnake’s tail.

Rattlesnakes typically don’t want to be bothered by humans, and they will let you know. If discovered and/or feeling threatened, rattlesnakes will employ their rattle as a warning. The sound emitted is often described as a dry, high-pitched buzzing. They coil up in a defensive position, meaning they could be ready to strike out.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has advice for anyone who encounters a rattlesnake:

1) Freeze in place. Snakes are often heard before they are seen. If you hear a rattlesnake, FREEZE in place until you or a companion can locate the animal. Attempting to move away from a snake you can’t see may lead you closer to it! Even if the snake is in plain view, freezing movement will reduce the threat you pose to the snake and help you calmly assess the situation.

2) Seek to establish a safe distance. Rattlesnakes can strike to a distance of half their body length, and a good rule of thumb is to put at least five feet between yourself and the snake. If possible, move slowly back the way you came.

3) Leave the snake alone. NEVER, under any circumstances, should you try and catch, kill, or provoke a rattlesnake. Fully one-third of people who suffer snakebites were bitten as a result of trying to handle or kill the snake.

Click here for more information on rattlesnakes in Colorado from Colorado Parks and Wildlife or view the document below:

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