Colorado Trails Could Be Slithering With Snakes This Time of Year
Tis' the season. The rattlers are awake and ready to play...just like we are. After a cold winter hiding away, these warmer temperatures have rattlesnakes slithering out to enjoy some of that warm Colorado sunshine.
According to KDVR, park rangers in Jefferson County have been gathering several reports of people spotting rattlesnakes on various trails throughout the area including North Table Mountain Park.
While rattlesnakes can pose danger to humans, they're rarely fatal. The most important thing you can do is remain calm f bitten. The more amped-up you get the quicker the venom can course through your body. Remain calm, prepare for some swelling by removing any tighter-fitting jewelry, and can 911 if you can. If you can't, calmly head back towards the trailhead.
It's extremely important to keep your dogs on a leash at all times because dogs are definitely at greater risk to run into a snake off-trail.
If your dog were to be bitten, the best thing to do is keep calm and keep your dog immobile. She said if you can, carry your dog back down to the trailhead. If you aren’t able to do that, call the non-emergency number or 911 for help.
According to park rangers, annually in Jefferson County Open Spaces, there's about four to six dog versus rattlesnake bites reported. While bites aren’t always lethal, but they are difficult and expensive in the long run.
Snake bites can be pretty costly too...both for humans and pets. Upwards of $200,000 in costs for the hospital for a rattlesnake bite and pets are around $2,500 to treat a rattlesnake bite.
Rattlesnakes like to hide and burrow under bushes and between rocks in the shade. Of course, sometimes they will be sunbathing on or near the trail and it's important to always be aware of your surroundings and where your walking and of course...STAY ON THE TRAIL.
Rattlers blend in with the Earth pretty well but they do have bright white stripes and will rattle their tails to warn you to getaway.
- Wear boots and long pants when hiking to help block rattlesnake venom.
- Stay on trails when hiking, away from the underbrush and tall weeds.
- Do not touch or disturb a snake, even if it appears dead. Snakes use their hidden position to strike and kill their prey by surprise.
- Always look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks, or firewood. Since rattlesnakes are often well-camouflaged and wait quietly for prey, they can be difficult to see.
- Never hike alone in remote areas. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
- Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Curious children who pick up snakes are frequently bitten.