More snakes seen on roads, TWRA says not to be concerned

(WVLT)- If you've seen a few snakes slithering across the road you're not alone.

Matthew Cameron of the TWRA says late August is when snakes become more visible.

"As we get into September into October, the nights start to get cool, the rocks the pavement the concrete still retain that heat and those snakes really like that."

We checked with several parks in East Tennessee. So far only one deadly snake bite in Big South Fork.

Cameron says only two species of snakes in East Tennessee are venomous.

"You've got Timber Rattlesnakes and you've got Copperheads. The Timber Rattle snakes are going to be at higher elevations. So, if you're hiking way up on top of the smokies you may come across those there, but they're not that common."

Copperheads are more common, they are found at lower elevations.

"They do like rocky ground, there's several in state parks, but they don't have many incidents of snake bites," says Cameron.

So how can you tell if a snake is venomous or not?

Cameron says venomous snakes have vertically slit eyes, and large triangle shaped heads.

"Venomous snakes are kind of short and fat. They are scary looking so you obviously don't want to handle them, just leave them alone," he says.

The best rule to follow if you run into it is to leave it alone and don't kill it if you don't have to.

"A lot of folks kill every snake they see and they don't have to do that. They're a very valuable part of the ecosystem. They keep the rodent population in check and they're going to keep mice out of you home."

He says seeing more snakes around town is no reason to be afraid of the outdoors, just another part of mother nature.


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