Rattlesnake sightings on the rise

Mating season, dry weather to blame

Author: Jennifer Dodd , Reporter, jdodd@ksat.com
Published On: Jun 29 2012 04:58:35 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 29 2012 02:15:00 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

It's a sound that strikes fear into the heart of just about anyone: the rattle of a diamondback rattlesnake's tail.

Snake expert Jarrod Forthman said you may be seeing more of these slithery serpents this season.

"We're getting less rain here in the area so we're seeing snakes moving around looking for water," Forthman said.

But that's not the only reason.

"Really, most of the snakes people are seeing in the area are males in search of females," Forthman said.

Forthman says he doesn't recommend trying to befriend rattlesnakes, but he said it's also best not to kill them if you can help it.

"See if you can't call animal control instead of killing one of these guys. They actually have a vital role in nature," Forthman said.

Another reason you might not want to kill a rattlesnake is because it might actually be a bull snake.

A bull snake looks just like a rattlesnake only it's actually good to have around because it kills rodents andis harmless.

Forthman recommends if you come face to face with a rattlesnake -- or a snake you think is a rattlesnake -- back away slowly.

He said rattlesnakes are not interested in chasing you.