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Timber rattlesnake spotted near lighthouse in Outer Banks

(Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WSET) -- The National Parks Service in the Outer Banks said a venomous rattle snake has been spotted on one of the islands.

Staff at Cape Hatteras National Seashore spotted a canebrake timber rattlesnake near the Bodie Island Light Station.

RELATED | Alligator spotted in Outer Banks caught, tagged, and released

They reminded beachgoers that rattlesnakes are not typically aggressive and only strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, but given room will retreat.

Herpetologists said the canebrake rattlesnake is widespread throughout the Coastal Plain region of the Southeast and the snake is reluctant to engage its rattle until danger is imminent.

Last summer, a couple vacationing in Hilton Head snapped a photo of a diamondback rattlesnake, while walking along Port Royal Plantation Beach.

National Park Service officials posted tips to help avoid interactions with snakes:

  • When hiking, stick to well used trails
  • Avoid tall grass, weeds, and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day
  • Look at your feet to watch where you step and do not put your foot in or near a crevice where you cannot see
  • Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark
  • If a fallen tree or large rock is in your path, step up to it instead of over it, as there might be a snake on the other side
  • Avoid approaching any snake you cannot positively identify as a safe species
  • If you hear a warning rattle, move away from the area and do not make any sudden or threatening movements in the direction of the snake
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