Palo Duro Canyon officials say careful with wildlife out in warmer weather

Palo Duro Canyon officials say careful with wildlife out in warmer weather

RANDALL COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - With spring-like weather, wildlife is being drawn out, especially in areas like Palo Duro Canyon.

"So the most common stuff we've seen lately with the warmer weather have been deer, turkey, a lot of roadrunners, lots of songbirds coming through, so it's been a busy time for wildlife and for people with spring break," says Palo Duro Park Interpreter Jeff Davis.

But the warmer weather also brings out animals like snakes.  Though it's not very often people encounter one on the trails, Davis says being prepared before you hit the canyon is key.

"Our only venomous snake in this part of the world is the rattlesnake and we have 2 species, neither of those is an aggressive snake, they're not after people. With the rattlesnakes, if you want to stay safe with one of them, the best thing is to just watch your step, where you're walking and then if you do find one, give it plenty of space. They are not going to come after you. We are not a food source for them," says Davis.

In fact, Davis tells us there is something far more threatening than these reptiles...

"The heat and the dehydration. Especially as we get into summer We have far more rescues for people who are dehydrated or have heat stroke or heat exhaustion than we ever do for snakes."

Davis says be sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen and plan ahead. You can click here for more tips. Officials want wildlife, to stay wild, so you are strongly discouraged to make contact with any creatures you see while you're out.

"Wildlife needs to be looked at from a distance," says Davis. "Feel free to take pictures, that kind of thing. But you don'tt want to approach the wildlife, you don';t want to  call it over, you don't want to try and feed it. It's better for the wildlife and better for the visitors too."

If you would like to keep up with events at the canyon including closures, you can click here.

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