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'Leave it alone': Snake safety this summer

With warmer weather comes more snakes out and about.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — With this warm weather in the Midlands comes the frequent sightings of snakes. 

For some, these guys can be a scary thing to see in your yard or on a walk. We chatted with South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources' state herpetologist, Andrew Grosse, about all of the ins and outs of these reptiles.

“I do understand why people have a little more fear of the venomous snakes because they can be potentially dangerous," Grosse tells us, "But, generally, with most wildlife, snakes are pretty secretive so you’re probably not going to see them. But if you do, if you leave them alone, they usually don’t want to be anywhere in a developed area with people.”

Grosse says that there really is no reason to kill any kind of snakes because they contribute to the environment around us in some way, whether that be to eat rodents or insects or to even kill and eat other venomous snakes.

“Really the best thing to do is leave it alone. There’s statistics out there that show that more snake bites, a very high proportion of snakes bites happen because people are either trying to pick it up or move it or kill it. If you just leave them alone you can prevent a lot of those from happening," says Grosse.

“Snakes don’t chase people, despite what people may say," Grosse laughs, "In general just like with most wildlife, if you give them space and leave them alone, they’re going to move on their way because they don’t want to be there any more than you want them there.”

If you have any story ideas or information on things happening around town, contact us at StreetSquad@wltx.com or tweet us using the hashtag #StreetSquad19.