Be respectful of Sssnakes

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 30, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — Temperatures are heating up and snakes are certainly on the move. Snakes become more active in the springtime as the days become warmer. Mississippi is home to 55 kinds of snakes and only six of them are venomous.

People should remember to leave snakes alone when they encounter them. Copperheads, cottonmouths, pigmy rattlesnakes, canebrake rattlesnakes, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and coral snakes are the venomous snakes of Mississippi. 

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reports that 75 percent of all bites by venomous snakes occur when someone is trying to kill, or harass the snake. MDWFP states snakes are not aggressive and do not chase humans, although they will bite when threatened. 

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Canebrake rattlesnakes, like the one in this video, can be found across Mississippi with exception to the gulf coast region. This specific rattlesnake is often called a timber rattler due to it being found in forests and bottomlands. 

“Unfortunately, they have been exterminated over much of their historic range and their numbers continue to decline at an alarming rate,” MDWFP states. “The female canebrake rattlesnake produces about a dozen live young only once every third year, resulting in a very low reproductive rate. Mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks constitute the bulk of the adult diet.” 

The snake is often calm and slow to defend itself. 

To reduce the risk of being bitten, people can wear long pants and/or shoes that protect your ankles, always look carefully where you are walking and placing your hands. If you see a snake, carefully step away from it. 

MDWFP suggests you avoid killing snakes, leave dead snakes alone and keep your property clean to prevent snake bites. 

If you are able to safely video and photograph snakes from a respectful distance, please share your reptile encounters by emailing photos and videos to