How to Avoid Snake Encounters

News posted May 05, 2017 - 9:02 am

Please be aware that snakes live in our parks, nature preserves and along greenway trails. The majority of snakes found around Raleigh are non-venomous but we do have venomous Copperhead snakes.
Copperheads are usually active at night but can often be found moving around or basking during the daytime. When disturbed, Copperheads will frequently vibrate their tail. If severely threatened, Copperheads will usually bite to defend themselves. Fortunately, their bite may be painful but is rarely fatal to humans.

To help avoid snake encounters, please take these precautions:

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch where you are walking.
  • Never try to pick up or remove a snake from its location. Whether venomous or not, all snakes can bite.
  • Watch for areas where snakes may be present: basking in the sun on rocks or logs, near a water source, near brush piles, in tall grass, in debris piles or other attractors.
  • Do not aggravate or disturb animals. This makes them more likely to bite.
  • Take special precaution with children and pets since they are more likely to approach a snake.
  • When doing yard work, take the proper safety precautions such as: wearing gloves and/or boots and using rakes or other tools.

Please seek professional wildlife officers if you have concerns about wildlife in your area. Please seek immediate medical attention if bitten by any snake.Remember that snakes are part of our natural environment and are valuable creatures in our ecosystem. City of Raleigh Municipal Code makes it unlawful to kill, trap or molest animals or birds. For more information about North Carolina’s amphibian and reptile species, visit

Visit the Walnut Creek Wetland Center, Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve or Durant Nature Preserve to see live educational (non-venomous) snakes in person or to sign up for upcoming reptile programs.

For more information, contact

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