West Virginia Snakes
But you probably won't see one that can hurt you.
Jim Fregonara, a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, describes their behavior. "In West Virginia, we only have two venomous snakes, the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake, the two that are venomous, all the others are non-venomous and most snakes in general are pretty harmless. They're not going to bother you unless you try to bother them. Most of the snake bites that are recorded are people usually harassing the snakes."
That's generally not a good idea. In fact, Jim says a lot of those snakes are harassed because of a good old fashioned case of mistaken identity. He says a lot of folks kill snakes they think are copperheads, but they're usually wrong.
"The very best way, and this works 100% of the time in WV, if you look at a snake's eyeball, if it has a round eye like a human does, if it's round, it's not venomous. If it's shaped like a cat's eye, a slit or a football standing on it's end, it would be either a copperhead or a rattlesnake." says Fregonara.
Jim says since a snake can only strike half it's body length, it's usually OK to get close enough to look a snake right in the eye. You don't usually want to kill a snake because they do so much good.
"They play a very important role in the environment. They help control the rodent populations. Farmers especially really value, especially the black rat snake for rodent control. They can kill more mice and rats that eat farmer's crops than any cat can." says Fregonara.
That's something to think about the next time you see a snake slithering around your yard. See a snake outside, you probably won't see any mice inside.
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.