See a snake near a park or yard? Here’s what you should do

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As many go outside and enjoy warmer weather, you might encounter local wildlife like birds, rabbits and snakes.

Yes, there are snakes living in northeast Indiana.

Snakes are a common fear for many people, but Bruce Kingsbury from Purdue Fort Wayne’s Environmental Resources Center says the snakes that live in northeast Indiana should not be considered a threat.

“Most species are not venomous,” said Kingsbury. “They’re not dangerous, and even if they bit you over and over again, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

Kingsbury says it is not uncommon for a snake to appear at a park or even in one’s backyard. Most snakes that people will encounter in public are water, garter or ribbon snakes. These species are easy to recognize as they often have a stripe down the length of their body.

The few venomous snakes left in Indiana often live in wetlands, away from most people.

If you encounter a snake, don’t panic. These animals have every reason to be afraid of humans too.

“We might be afraid of the snake, but we don’t need to be,” Kingsbury said. “Whereas they might have a legitimate fear of us, because they might come to harm. Something that everyone should keep in mind when it comes to snakes or many other animals is they think they’re going to be dinner.”

When exploring parks or trails, as long as you admire a snake from afar or ignore it, they will not have any reason to bother you. Kingsbury recommends walking around them and not attempting to pick them up.

If you spot a snake near your home or yard, there is no need to kill it. Simply grab a broom and sweep the snake into a garbage can, then dump it out away from your home.

Visit the Indiana Herp Atlas or Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources to learn more about snakes and other wildlife that is native to northeast Indiana.

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