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Sep 21, 2013 12:45 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Wrath of the Rattlesnake: peak bite season not over just yet

TUCSON- Peak season for rattlesnake bites may be coming to a close, but the snakes are still being spotted slithering across the desert.

According to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, so far in 2013 there have been 78 rattlesnake bites across Pima County. That is pretty much on par with the 77 bites across the county for the same period in 2012.

But Dean Cooper, an experienced hiker says he is seeing more rattlesnakes this year than in the past.

Last February Cooper started a hiking blog called "Tucson Hikes" and about three weeks ago he had a good story to tell. He was traveling down the Ernie's Falls Trail on the east side, when he saw five rattlesnakes. "It does something to you too," Cooper says. "When you see those snakes you start worrying that there are snakes everywhere."

And lately it really does seem like there are all sorts of snakes everywhere.

Since last Sunday the Rural Metro Fire Department has had 62 calls to remove desert creatures. Captain Grant Cesarek says that is more than usual for this late in the season. "It might just be that as temperatures cool off a little bit, people are a little more active around their yards, maybe up a little earlier for a morning walk or afternoon walk," Captain Cesarek says.

For Cooper, the discovery made for some good material on the blog. Now he is just grateful the snakes didn't bite. "You have to keep your eyes open," Cooper says.

If you receive a rattlesnake bite, the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center recommends you check in to a hospital for treatment as soon as possible.

Click here to visit Cooper's blog.

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