Carson County reports abundance of rattlesnakes

Carson County reports abundance of rattlesnakes

Amarillo, TX - Officials in Carson County are warning the public of the abundance of rattlesnakes this season.

It's not a sight we ever want to see, a rattlesnake slithering through our backyard, or hanging out on our porch. But in Carson County, this nightmare is becoming all too real.

"We've had a wide variety of snakes, more than we've seen in a long time," Carson County Sheriff, Loren Brand, said. "I do think they are coming because of the amount of rain that we've had. And snake dens have been flushed out. I've personally killed between 25 and 30 this year, which is way beyond the norm."

Sheriff Brand said this abundance is concerning, especially for those with small children, livestock and pets. He said he's received an alarming number of calls to come kill the reptiles, which he said can be done in different ways.

"If it's a situation where we've got more than one snake and it's in an open area, we're going to shoot them," Brand said. "If it's a situation where it's close to a house, close to children, we'll use or rake or a hoe, or a shovel, something like that and try to kill them that way."

But he heeds caution going near a rattlesnake after it's been killed. Sometimes these snakes can have live babies inside them, which are even more dangerous than an actual full grown rattlesnake.

These little guys are fast and cant control the amount of venom they release, so they let it all go at once.

"Medically speaking you always need to call 911, the person does need medical attention," Lorrie Baze, a paramedic and operation supervisor at Panhandle EMS, said. "As far as treatment, we will start an IV on them, keep the patient calm, in a calm environment, and give them pain medicine if they require that."

Anti-venom is then given to a rattlesnake bite victim at the hospital. EMS urges those who have been bitten  not to try and treat the wound themselves.

The venom breaks down a persons tissue, and if not treated, an amputation of a limb is possible.

The sheriff said although there is no way to stop the spread of the rattlesnakes, residents can use extra caution when walking anywhere a snake might find heat, such as a sidewalk, hot garage, open fields or barns.