Lutterschmidt To Give Presentation On Venomous Snakes
June 17, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
Summer time is often considered “snake time” in Texas because it is when snakes are more visible and snakebites are more predominant.
With the prevalence of reptiles such as copperheads and cottonmouths among the East Texas woods, William Lutterschmidt, herpetologist and executive director of the Sam Houston State University Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies, will lead a discussion on identifying venomous snakes and snakebite education on Tuesday (June 21).
The event will begin with a snake display and exhibitions by three area entities at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation by Lutterschmidt at 6 p.m. at the Walker County Storm Shelter, at 463 SH 75 North in Huntsville.
Participants will include representatives from Lufkin’s Ellen Trout Zoo, the Texas Poison Control Center and the Huntsville Memorial Hospital’s Rehabilitation Facility. The groups will present information on the rattlesnake, copperhead, cottonmouth and coral snake; how quickly snakes can strike; how to avoid being bitten; myths and misconceptions about what to do if you are bitten; and first aid techniques.
“Each year the HMH treats snakebites and this is part of their public awareness program,” Lutterschmidt said. “We display live animals for the public to see examples of what characteristics to look for when identifying snakes.”
Nationally, more than 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year. However, many community members can find comfort in knowing that most of the snakes commonly encountered in Huntsville are harmless, according to Lutterschmidt.
"Snakes are fairly common wildlife in and around the Huntsville area, and I like helping to educate our community about these fascinating creatures,” he said. “While sharing our yards and properties with snakes, safety is always our primary concern.”
Among ways to stay safe include always being aware of where you put your feet and knowing that snakes are most likely to strike when they feel threatened.
“If they do feel threatened they will coil up and they will rattle their tail,” Lutterschmidt said. “People think only rattlesnakes rattle their tails, but most snakes rattle their tails.”
The event is open to guests of all ages.
"Teaching our children how to identify and respect the potential dangers of a venous snake keeps them safe," Lutterschmidt said.
Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 936.435.7919.
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