AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Some rattlesnakes have slithered through parts of the Texas Capitol to help promote an upcoming reptile roundup.
Members of the Sweetwater Jaycees were in Austin on Tuesday to support what’s billed as the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup.
This year’s event includes a parade and a Miss Snake Charmer pageant on March 7. Other rattlesnake-related activities run through March 10.
Some brave visitors at the Texas Capitol opted to touch the rattlesnakes and pose for photos as the creatures were held by experts from the Jaycees, a public service organization.
Snake experts saw an increase in their presence last summer due to the extreme Texas heat. They saw an increase in calls to remove them from people’s property.
“We get between three and five calls a day for snakes in the DFW area,” Seth Roberson with Wildlife X Team International said.
Snakes are cold blooded and hibernate during the winter. In the spring and summer months, they search for food and breed. As the summer sun beats down, they want to escape the extreme heat. They can start hiding behind brush and move closer to water, going into things like pool filters and pool noodles.
Medical experts said adults know to avoid a snake if they see one, but that’s not always the case with kids. They said be sure to stress to your kids if you see a snake don’t pick it up.
“Especially with the younger ages,” Cook Children’s Medical Center’s Director of Trauma Services Christi Thornhill said. “With some of our school age kids, especially boys, it may be because they’re boys and there’s a snake and they think that’s cool.”
Sweetwater is 180 miles west of Fort Worth.