Officials warn beach-goers about rattlesnakes at Outer Banks

(Credit: Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

It's beach season! But that also means it's snake season.

According to Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials, a rattlesnake was spotted recently outside a park staff building near the entrance to the Bodie Island Light Station at the Outer Banks.

Rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive but they do strike when threatened or provoked.



Most snake encounters occur between the months of April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors.

Officials offer the following tips to avoid interacting with snakes:

-When hiking, stick to well-used trails
-Avoid tall grass, weeds, and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day

-Look at your feet to watch where you step and do not put your foot in or near a crevice where you cannot see
-Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark
-If a fallen tree or large rock is in your path, step up to it instead of over it, as there might be a snake on the other side
-Avoid approaching any snake you cannot positively identify as a safe species
-If you hear a warning rattle, move away from the area and do not make any sudden or threatening movements in the direction of the snake

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