As Temperatures Rise, Watch Out for Rattlesnakes, Says Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary

The sound of a rattlesnake is enough to send a chill down the spine of most, and the time for when the venomous reptiles appear around the Valley is quickly approaching.

The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of rescued reptiles, is urging people to be careful and co-exist with the snakes Arizona is known for while venturing out as temperatures climb into the 80s.

“Wildlife plays an important role in our world,” Dan Marchand, curator of the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary, said in a press release. “We can coexist if we understand their value and how to stay safe.”

Marchand advises people to not walk or reach in places that can’t be seen as the snakes like to hide next to the foundation of a home where they feel safe and can find food – including helping homeowners by eating rodents.

Rattlesnakes can also be found in damp or rocky areas.

People who find a rattlesnake are encouraged to walk away from the snake and don’t try to move it, as most rattlesnake bites occur when untrained people try to move or harm the snake, according to the release.

The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary can remove the snake from a property for a fee. More information can be found on the organization’s website or by calling (602) 550-1090.

Those who are bit by a rattlesnake are urged to keep the bitten area still, remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling, elevate the wound area if possible, stay calm and call 9-1-1.

The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary advises against the person who is bit driving themselves to the hospital, using ice to cool the bite, cut open the wound to suck out the venom or use a tourniquet as that will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.

Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnake and the venomous Coral Snake, according to the release, but there are far more non-venomous snakes around the state.


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