Influx of snakes causing concern at Plano park

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 29 at 10:02 PM

Bob Woodruff Park

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PLANO — It was about this time last year that we showed you snakes at Bethany Lakes Park in Allen. The city told residents they weren't venomous, and people should just steer clear of them.

Now park visitors in another part of Collin County are reporting concerns about the snake population.

It didn't take us long to find snakes at Bob Woodruff Park in Plano. We saw several swimming in the pond.

"In one walk around this pond, we saw 14-plus snakes," said Tracy Nix, who frequents the park. "We lost count at the snakes."

Nix and his son fish at Woodruff. On their last visit, snakes came uncomfortably close. "Two of the bigger ones were within 18 inches of my feet when I was standing on the bank, fishing," Nix said.

Nix feared kids would get too close. Hundreds of families visit Woodruff on a typical weekend.

"Most kids like to get close to the water, and they don't know the difference between a snake and a turtle," he said.

So he called the Plano Parks and Recreation Department. Superintendent Kym Hughes confirmed a higher number of snakes than usual. She blames the influx on the mating season, which came a month later than normal due to cooler spring weather.

"We didn't see any poisonous ones," Hughes said. "We've never seen a poisonous snake, a venomous snake out here. But we know the public is afraid of snakes in general."

Plano hired a contractor to relocate snakes. But he only caught eight water snakes: Three diamondbacks and three yellow bellys, all non-poisonous.

Park managers say snakes are usually not aggressive unless they feel threatened. They urge parents to keep a watchful eye on their kids and their surroundings, to prevent getting too close to the pond's most unwelcome residents.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

 

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