ST. LOUIS, MO. (KMOX) – Our wonderfully warm weather is nudging a lot of animals out of hibernation early, including, snakes, in particular Garter Snakes.

St. Louis Zoo Curator of Herpetology Jeff Ettling says we see them in our yards twice a year, spring and fall, going into and out of hibernation.

“This year since the temperature warmed up so drastically and even the night-time temperatures have been  warm for this time of the year, we’re seeing that all the snakes are coming out at one time which is unusual.”

Ettling said it’s not just the snakes; frogs and salamanders are waking up early too.

“I’ve never quite seen it this way myself” said Ettling.

But he doesn’t call it an infestation.  And he says most St. Louis area folks don’t have much to worry about, even if they see two or three at a time.

“On the western edges of St. Louis County, there are two species of venomous snakes people should be aware of,  the Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake but they are out in wooded, rocky areas.”
Ettling says for the most part, snakes are just as afraid of us as we are of them.  It’s a good idea though to avoid the Copperhead and Timber Rattler.


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