With the warm spring weather upon us, the cold-blooded reptiles of the Preserve have emerged from hiding, including rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are an important part of the Preserve ecosystem and are a protected species. The Preserve is a wild area inhabited by a variety of wild animals, which are inherently unpredictable. While you visit their natural habitat, it is important to remember a few tips to assure a safe experience.

To avoid encountering rattlesnakes in the Preserve:

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Travel only on designated and posted trails
  • Do not place your hands or feet in places you cannot see
  • Wear long pants and boots
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times

If you encounter a rattlesnake on the trail:

  • Most importantly - LEAVE IT ALONE
  • Move slowly and deliberately, and back away to a safe distance
  • Rattlesnakes will not chase you
  • Provide a caution to other hikers in the area about the presence of the snake
  • If the snake is in a developed area, like a trailhead, contact the Preserve staff (480-312-7013) and they will do their best to relocate the snake.

If a rattlesnake bite occurs:

  • Remain calm and call 911
  • Immobilize the extremity and keep it below the heart
  • Remove jewelry and tight-fitting clothing in case of swelling
  • Decrease total body activity as is feasible
  • Get medical help as soon as possible
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