Experts warn: Be on the lookout for snakes ahead of holiday weekend


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s that time of year to be on the lookout for snakes. 

“The weather right now is allowing the animals, especially the snakes, to be active all day and all night,” said Carl Sandefer, curator at the OKC Rattlesnake and Venom Museum. 

What snake you run into depends on where you are in Oklahoma. 

The Western Diamondback is usually found in Southwest Oklahoma. 

The Timber Rattlesnake is found in Northeast Oklahoma. 

And for the metro…

“The Copperhead here is the most common venomous snake around Oklahoma City,” said Sandefer. 

Sandefer’s number one safety tip is to leave the snakes alone. 

“Do not mess, if you can, don’t mess with snakes. 94.9% of the time that someone’s bitten, it’s cause they’re messing with the snake,” he said. 

If you do get bitten, seek medical attention immediately. 

The venom from these venomous snakes can destroy tissues in your body. 

“You could lose your finger. You could lose muscle tissue in your hand. I’ve seen it where people have lost almost all the muscle density in their arm,” said Sandefer. 

As scary and severe as it sounds, Sandefer’s other piece of advice is ‘don’t panic.’

“The times I’ve been bitten, just a couple of times, just remain calm,” he said. 

He says most snakes you run in to will be harmless, but it’s always a good reminder this time of year to pay attention to your surroundings. 

“Being alert is very important if you’re in venomous snake area,” he said. 

Learn more by visiting OKC Rattlesnake and Venom Museum‘s or Integris‘ websites.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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