If you go for a hike and spot a rattlesnake – do not harm it.
According to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, all 3 species of rattlesnake native to North Carolina as well as the Eastern Coral Snake are in decline and are now officially protected by the North Carolina Endangered Species Act. There are only 2 types of venomous snakes in North Carolina you are still legally allowed to kill, the Copperhead and the Cottonmouth.
The state is urging all residents to take a picture of any venomous rattlesnake they spot and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do a lot of walking or hiking around the Charlotte region, it’s recommended that you carry a snake bite kit and/or venom extractor in your backpack or car.
The Carolina Poison Center also suggests that:
If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD:
- Sit down and stay calm.
- Gently wash the area with warm, soapy water.
- Remove any jewelry or tight clothing near the bite site.
- Keep the bitten area still, if possible, and raise it to heart level.
- Call the Carolinas Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222.
If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD NOT:
- Ice the area. Icing causes additional tissue damage.
- Make and apply a tourniquet or any tight bandage. It’s better for the venom to flow through the body than for it to stay in one area.
- Attempt to catch or kill the snake.
If a snakebite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling, or has lost consciousness, call 911 immediately.
Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snake bite or for more information.