According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife the state of Texas is home to 15 potentially dangerous snakes. Within the last two weeks one of those dangerous snakes has been spotted in the yard at the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Dr. Lou Densmore is part of the Biology Department at Texas Tech and was out at the South Plains wildlife rehabilitation center Wednesday searching for a rattlesnake that was most recently spotted Monday night.
"Folks here at the south plains wildlife center reported that they had seen an approximately 3-3 ½ foot rattlesnake...It's something to be concerned about, not something to be freaked out about because we live in an area that has an awful lot of snake habitat and where rattlesnakes are common," said Dr. Densmore.
Daniel Andrews, the operations manager, was leaving late Monday night when he heard a rattle and then saw exactly what he was thinking.
"A good foot maybe two foot from me was a rattler that was coiled up.. It just managed to find our open property that has nice resources for it."," said Andrews.
He says because he was alone and did not have the proper equipment in hand he did not try to catch the snake.
Instead he left, but when they came back to try and find the rattlesnake it was gone.
They searched for the snake under their drop off shed, around bushes, and under plywood, which are all places Dr. Densmore says people should be aware of at their own homes.
"Remove boards and things like that that are laying flat.. plywood is a wonderful place for rattlesnakes and other snakes to get under," said Dr. Densmore.
He also says most rattlesnakes would rather flee than bite someone so just be aware when you are walking in the dark or tall grass.
Dr. Densmore said, "If people will use a little common sense in terms of don't go out at night without a headlight or even having a light on your phone. If you're walking in areas that have high grass, beat the area down."
If you do come across a rattlesnake stay away from it, remember where you saw it, and contact Dr. Densmore through the Texas Tech Biology Department.
This snake is not one that was brought into the wildlife rehabilitation center but a wild snake that was probably stirred up from all the recent construction.
If you do get bit by a rattlesnake go to the hospital immediately.