It seems like my social media feed has been full of snakes lately. Lots of my friends are posting pictures of snakes they’ve found while out hiking or even in their backyards around Billings. One friend recently stumbled upon a large rattlesnake while hiking on the Rims. Luckily she saw it before her and her dog got too close.
Why are most of us terrified by snakes?
Livescience explains that humans’ fear of snakes is likely an evolutionary trait. Don’t get bit by a deadly snake = living another day to reproduce. That makes sense. They took their study even deeper and found that while babies and toddlers do not seem to have a natural-born fear of snakes, children as young as three were able to quickly find snake images hidden in test pictures.
Thankfully, snake fatalities are rare in Montana.
We talked to Jeff the Nature Guy from ZooMontana and he explained that fatal snake encounters in Montana are actually extremely rare. Out of the 10 snake species in the state, only one is venomous and that is the prairie (or western) rattlesnake. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that out of the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy our outdoors each year, there are usually