Rising temps tempting snakes from hiding

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by Natalie Brand

azfamily.com

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 10:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Rising temperatures are tempting snakes from hiding, as the slithering creatures have begun to surface in Valley neighborhoods and backyards. 

Home video captured firefighters tossing out an uninvited guest that crashed the Glazier family’s pool party in Scottsdale, one of several snake calls Friday, but a first for the Glaziers.

“We’re from Northern Canada,” said Pat Glazier. “We’ve had bears, grizzly bears in our backyard, but I’ve never seen a snake before.”

It may not be the last one he sees this trip, as the Valley heats up. Russ Johnson of the Phoenix Herpetological Society calls it Spring Break for snakes.

Johnson said the Western Diamondback rattlesnake is one of the most common kinds people should expect to see right now.

He said if you come across one, stop and take a giant step back, so you’re out of striking range.

“This can only strike six to seven inches,” Johnson showed 3TV as he handled a rattler.

It’s a range you want to avoid.  Johnson knows firsthand the pain of a bite.

“It put me in the ICU for four days,” he said. “I’ve had eight bones broken in my body, and I would break all eight at the same time, over being bitten…worst pain I’ve had,” said Johnson.

The experts say most snakes want to avoid people, if possible, and attack only if threatened or surprised.

For more information on which snakes are venomous, click here.

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