Snake, Alligator Encounters on the Rise in Arkansas - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Snake, Alligator Encounters on the Rise in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas reptile experts are warning that you should be on the lookout for slithery critters while waters in the state are high.  Because of the rainy weather of late, experts say humans are more likely to have encounters with snakes and alligators in parts of Arkansas.

Copperhead snakes are the most common venemous snakes in the state.

University of Arkansas biology professor Steve Beaupre says folks in the outdoors should pay attention where they put their hands and feet, and they should look before they sit down.

Beaupre said homeowners can reduce the likelihood of encountering snakes by keeping yards clear of junk and by not planting gardens right next to the house.  Gardens attract small mammals that venomous snakes eat.

In southwest Arkansas, more people are seeing snakes and alligators around waterways.  Sergeant Mark Kennemore of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission says people should avoid alligators just as they avoid snakes.

If an alligator is crossing the road, Kennemore says to drive around it.  He says that when people stop to watch an alligator cross the road, the gator often "sulls up" and stays put.  Then more motorists stop and create a traffic jam.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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