Summer heat brings with it return of rattlesnakes

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Summer is here and with it comes the beginning of rattlesnake season. The warm temperatures are known for drawing the reptiles out so there are some precautions you should keep in mind.

“The season is long,” said Kyle Davidson with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It’s all summer long — as soon as the sun starts coming out.”

We aren’t the only ones enjoying the nice warm weather — rattlesnakes are soaking in the sun as well. Ute Valley Park, Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Open Space are just a few spots around town known for rattlesnake sightings.

“Stay on the trails,” said Bob Falcone, a hiking guide. “Don’t go off the trails, watch where you stick your hands, your feet, your nose when you’re looking for something and you’re probably going to be fine.”

That rule of thumb also applies to any four-legged friends joining you.

“Most wildlife will view your dog as a predator and they will respond in kind,” said Davidson. “So for the safety of your pet, it’s really in your best interest and in your dogs best interest to keep it on a leash when you’re out on the trails.”

Another important thing to keep in mind is music. If you happen to have your volume up just a little bit too loud, you could miss an important warning sign.

“If you hear the rattle, keep going,” said Falcone. “Don’t stop and look. You’ve already made that rattlesnake upset. They’re trying to scare you away.”

“It’s not going to follow you,” said Davidson. “It doesn’t have any desire to strike you down — it just wants its space.”

But in the rare occasion you do get bit, the best thing you can do is call for help.

“Don’t do any of those old wives tales like sucking out the venom or peeing on it or anything like that,” said Davidson.

The best piece of advice is simply to just pay attention.

“Be aware of where you’re at,” said Falcone. “Look around. You still may not see them. They’re masters of disguise.”

For your own safety, experts recommend always paying attention to the signs posted on the trail and keeping an open eye.

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