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Officials warning Utahns about rattlesnakes shaking out of hibernation

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Posted at 1:53 PM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-18 15:53:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Officials are warning Utahns about some critters that are going to be out a lot more often with the warmer temperatures.

As the weather heats up, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said rattlesnakes are shaking out of hibernation and will be out during the day, which most likely will lead to more snake bites.

But Krissy Wilson, DWR native aquatic species program coordinator, said 90 percent of the bites are avoidable.

She said many of the snake bites happen when people approach the snakes, not try to avoid them.

“People are messing with them or trying to get rid of them,” Wilson said.

She said the job of removing a snake from your home should be left to an animal control professional.

Besides the bite itself, another big downside is the cost of treatment, which medical professionals said can climb as high as $100,000.

Wilson said the drought is bringing out more snakes along with the bears and mountain lions, that are looking for food in more populated areas.

However, Wilson said most animals go to great lengths to avoid humans.

“If you think like a rattlesnake, what they eat, we are way, way too big,” she said. “The only time a rattlesnake is going to strike is when his life is threatened.”