Snakes are better left alone

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friday, temperatures climbed to near 90 by the afternoon, meaning that even though summer hasn’t officially started, here in South Mississippi we are getting an early start.

Those warmer temperatures will mean several things. Not only will people be seeking methods to cool off, the various animals in the South that become dormant in cooler months are now very active.

For the most part, it will mean more turtles will be seen sunning themselves on the hot asphalt, and various snakes will also be seeking their next meal.

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While most snakes in this area of the country are not lethal, we do have several species that pack a deadly bite.

That’s the lesson one Alabama man learned earlier this week when he mistook a coral snake for a king snake.

While the latter poses no danger to humans, the former can be deadly if someone is unlucky enough to be bitten.

The man will survive due to the quick medical care he received.

But the real danger comes when people are far from help, such as a trek through the woods. Snakes are ideal at hiding under the leaf litter dropped during the winter, and can strike without warning.

Additionally, if you are only slightly educated on how to properly identify a snake, it’s best not to try to handle any snake found in the wild.

As a former pet snake owner, all of which were hognose and garter snakes captured in the wild, I can attest to the appeal of keeping the reptiles in captivity.

It’s not a practice in my home any longer, because they need plenty of care and I’m now of the opinion that wild animals lead better lives in the wild.

So, if you come across a snake in the woods, or even in your yard, it’s best to appreciate it from afar. You and it will have better, longer lives as a result.