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'Hear The Sound, Stop And Look Around' Rattlesnake Readiness in Colorado

See what the leading cause of rattlesnake bites is, and what to do if a rattlesnake crosses your path.
Posted at 4:22 AM, May 20, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — With the amazing weather we saw this weekend comes a danger we want to let you know about. Rattlesnakes do live here in Colorado and have been spotted in several parks. Ute Valley Park is on the northwest side of Colorado Springs and has been known for rattlesnake sightings.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says that it’s very common for rattlesnakes to warm up on trails. They say if you do come across one on a trail, to go around it. They don’t recommend trying to scare or move the snake.

I met with Joey Livingston, with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He tells me forty-three percent of the rattlesnake bites they see are because people tried to pick up or move the snake. Livingston says that our elevation in Colorado Springs is just right for these snakes, but they aren’t very common higher up in the mountains. He says though it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes- and ears open when you hit the trails.

“Anyone that’s outdoors in Colorado you need to be aware of rattlesnakes even if you’re in your own yard there’s possibly they could be there but definitely if you’re outdoors recreating if you’re hiking or camping is when you need to be extra vigilant.”

And what if you do come across a "nope rope"? Livingston adds, “It’s very important that if you don’t see the snake freeze in place so if you hear one freeze in place look around and try to identify where that snake is. If you try to move right away, you might be actually moving toward the snake. So freezing in place try to figure out where the snake is and establish some distance at least 5 feet distance from the snake.”

Livingston adds that if you are bitten, go to a hospital right away. Even call the hospital ahead of time so they can get the treatment ready. He says that although rare, rattlesnake bites can be fatal. Also, the venom can have an increased effect on smaller people, kids, and pets. Part of living in Colorado is being aware of the diverse wildlife living here. Give those rattlesnakes space, and they should leave you alone.

Email Reporter Jake Walker at jake.walker@koaa.com. Follow @JakeOnAiron Instagram and Jake Walker Media on Facebook.

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