Snake bites up during COVID-19, Texas Poison Center Network reports

Investigations

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Leah Burns is no stranger to coming across snakes around her home in Dripping Springs — but Tuesday night it was different. 

“You should have heard him hissing!” said Burns. “I’ve been bit before but this snake was scary! Very beautiful but even I’m scared of it!”

She snapped a few pictures which shows the snake curled up against the patio wall. Burns tried to look it up online, but said it’s still not clear to her what kind of snake it could have been.

“I had this frog, he was huge and he had been coming around for weeks. I had a water bowl out for him. The frog disappeared about three days ago,” said Burns. “I think I know what happened to him.”

Burns was bitten by a rattle snake four years ago, and her family recently came across a coral snake, which is venomous. She explained that her husband was able to relocate this latest snake. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife explained as it gets hotter more snakes are moving around.

“If you encounter a snake in your yard, it’s either been there forever and you haven’t noticed it… or it’s a transient just passing through,” explained Paul Crump, a Herpetologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “If you come across a snake on a trail, in a park or something, the best thing you can do… either go around it… or turn around and go the other way.”

Crump also said don’t stick your hands under or in places you can’t see, “…that’s when some of these bites happen.”

The Texas Poison Center Network said latest numbers show that specialists are getting more calls about snake bites during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Data shows across the state, 309 calls were received about snake bites between March 1 to June 5. The majority of the calls were from people 30 and older. Calls increased from 2019 by 50%, the network reported 205 calls during the same period.

Crump explained that people may be coming in contact with snakes more often because they are spending more time outside and at home during the pandemic.

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