WVLT had a quick little report highlighting that snakes are indeed out and about this time of year in our area (click link to view video report while available).
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) — Snake are out in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and rangers say there are a few things you should know before your next hike or camping trip.
Bill and Erika Gerth said they saw several snakes during several days of hiking in the national park.
“We’ve seen some snakes and some deer,” said Gerth. “We saw a snake slithering across the trail. He was long enough to cover the whole trail. Very large, very long,” Bill said.
Rangers say there 2 types of poisonous snakes in the park. One is a copperhead the other is the rattlesnake. Generally if you stay clear of them, they’ll stay away from you.
Molly Schroer, spokesperson, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, says if you are bitten you should stay calm and look for help. She says you should look for a ranger or go the visitors center.
“What you don’t want to do is catch the snake. We don’t need it for identification purposes,” said Schroer.
Schroer says snakes are usually in shaded areas. At night she says the roadway is a common place to see them.
“At night it’s kind of interesting. They often come out on the pavement and enjoy the warmth,” she said.
Most snakes in the Smokies are harmless to humans & all snakes in our area want nothing to do with humans. If you are approaching an area that might have snake potential, tall grasses, bushes, brush piles, rocky areas (creek edges), and pavement areas nearby spots you know snakes have been present then make a bunch of noise and pound on the ground to let them know you are near. Snakes will usually slither off away from the action.
Venomous snakes generally have a triangular head shape, which is probably their easiest identifier. All snakes have it within them to strike and bite you if threatened.
If you get bit by a snake, take a photo of said snake, if you can, if you have not already. Taking that picture might have been what you got bit trying to do. Get yourself to a ranger’s station or the local emergency room. Emergency services can help identify the snake and properly treat your bite.