Snake bites up in Green Country

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 7/10/2013 5:36 pm Published: 7/10/2013 4:46 pm

More people in Green Country are reporting snake bites.

While talking to wildlife experts at the Oxley Nature Center FOX23 crews spotted a snake immediately.

"The water comes through this thing and the water snakes will gang up there and wait there," said Eddie Reese, director of the Oxley Nature Center.

Reese said the one place at Oxley where you're guaranteed to see snakes is the blackbird marsh.

"We've never seen a venomous snake in the nature center or in the park, but one could show up anytime, you never know," he said.

Reese said he's not seeing more snakes at Oxley, but FOX23 contacted the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and found out the wet spring is making snakes more active.

FOX23 also talked to the emergency room director at St. John's.

"Typically these bites occur to the hand, arm or foot or lower leg," said Keith Veit, St. John's ER director.

The Oklahoma Poison Control center reports that in 2012 in May and June, there were 18 non-venomous snake bites statewide.

This year, there were 28, including five more copperhead victims and three times more cottonmouth bites.

"I guess I would liken it to several wasp stings that didn't resolve in 15 or 20 minutes, like a wasp sting, it continues," said Veit.

Veit said it's painful, and the swelling is severe. A venomous snake bite will put you in the hospital for a couple of days, but it's usually not fatal.

Veit said nationwide, about 7,000 people were bitten by a snake in 2012, and there were only five fatalities.

"Oklahoma being a rural state, we have a lot of countryside out there, and frankly, that is their domain," said Veit.

Wildlife officials said there are two things you can do to avoid being bitten watch where you step and watch where you place your hands.

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