With the changing seasonal weather, the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to be aware of increased rattlesnake activity in Central Wyoming, this following a reported increase of snake-and-pet interactions.
The Sheriff’s office says with longer, hotter days conditions are right for the increasing presence of rattlesnakes in outdoor areas that the public enjoys. The department also notes that as the snow-pack begins to melt and water levels rise this can prompt the normally dry snake dens, to become saturated with water. As a result, the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office has seen an increased number of human-snake interactions, and snake bites to pets.
“We are asking the public to be vigilant and pay attention to areas were rattlesnakes could be while enjoying the outdoors,” the NCSO said in a statement posted on Social media. “Here are some tips to protect yourself, your loved ones and your pets from rattlesnake encounters or bites.”
- Wear appropriate over-the-ankle hiking boots, thick socks, and loose-fitting long pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas.
- When hiking, stick to well-used trails if all possible.
- Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
- Look at your feet to watch where you step and do not put your foot in or near a crevice where you cannot see.
- Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see.
- Be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood.
- Keep pets close, in sight and away from rocky areas, areas of tall grass or large areas of vegetation.
- Do not turn over rocks or logs. If you must move a rock or log, use gloves and roll it toward you, giving anything beneath it the opportunity to escape in the opposite direction.
- Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can and do swim.
- Avoid approaching any snake you cannot positively identify as a safe species.
- If you hear the warning rattle, move away from the area and do not make sudden or threatening movements in the direction of the snake.
- Remember rattlesnakes do not always rattle before they strike!