Snakes are becoming more prevalent as summer begins

A snake in the grass.
A snake in the grass.(KSWO)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - As summer approaches, you might be seeing more snakes.

“They’re staying in their dens in the winter time when it’s colder temperatures. In the summer time as it becomes warmer they become more active,” said wildlife biologist Christine Fallon.

So what do you do if you come across one while you’re out?

“There are many people that have a natural fear of snakes, and sometimes people wanna harm or kill snakes for that reason,” said Fallon. “More often than not the snake is not going to want to be near you unless provoked, so the best thing to do is to stay away from that animal.”

The refuge said snakes are a vital part of the overall ecosystem, and their safety is just as important.

“So if the snake is in a place that you feel unsafe or threatened you can contact any of the staff at the wildlife refuge, and they have the training to remove that snake safely with a snake hook for example,” added Fallon.

However you won’t only find snakes outside, some are even finding them inside their own homes, and when that happens Lawton locals can reach out to people like William Stoneman.

“When we’re kids, adults will tell ya to stay away from snakes, that they’re dangerous, and I took it upon myself to test that theory at a very young age. I learned all about them, and they quickly became my favorite animal,” said Stoneman.

And he’s turned that curiosity into helping homeowners when they have an uninvited guest.

“I like to catch them. I like to save them. I don’t want them harmed. They don’t deserve to be harmed,” said Stoneman.

So what should you do if you find a snake in or around your home?

“Remain calm, number one. Don’t mess with it, don’t try to catch it. If you can identify it, if you’re positive, that kind of helps, but call someone,” said Stoneman.

He advises homeowners to clean any unnecessary clutter, so snakes don’t have as many places to hide. While you may be shocked to find one, don’t react out of fear.

“They don’t deserve the stigma that they get. They don’t deserve it. They don’t chase people, they’re not out to get you, they want nothing to do with people. They deserve better,” added Stoneman.