Eclipse tourists may want to watch out for rattlesnakes

Medford, Ore. – Eclipse tourists headed to rural areas of Oregon to view the solar eclipse are being warned of the danger of rattlesnakes.

Multiple agencies are prepping for an influx of one million people during the eclipse.

It’s estimated many will be headed to rural areas in the path of totality, including campsites and recreation areas.

Many tourists may not be aware those rural areas are also home to Oregon’s only indigenous rattlesnake, the Western Rattlesnake.

The 18 to 36 inch snakes are commonly seen near their dens, which are usually in rocky crevices exposed to sunshine.

While the snakes don’t view humans as prey, they will bite if threatened or provoked.

According to a CNN report, the normal activity of reptiles like rattlesnakes could be disrupted by the changing light during the eclipse.

If you encounter a snake, it’s best to give them some space. Don’t throw things, step on them or poke them with sticks, as they can strike from several feet away.

While the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife says human deaths from rattlesnakes are rare, a doctor should be consulted immediately as bites can be fatal.

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