LAUREL - In the past few weeks, a neighborhood in Laurel near Eighth Avenue and 12th Street has been faced with multiple encounters with rattlesnakes.
The residents of this neighborhood estimate to have seen nearly a dozen different snakes. It's an odd circumstance for a relatively residential area.
Many parents in the area, such as Lynsdey Archila, have expressed serious concerns.
“Rattlesnakes in a residential area is quite concerning,” Achila said. “The amount in such a short amount of time has been a concerning situation for sure.”
The venomous snakes have begun making themselves right at home on driveways and even near front doors.
“That’s what’s kind of scary too. If they’re out in plain view, then are there more hiding too?” Achila said.
And Archila isn’t the only one concerned. Jon Mclean lives in that area as well. He said he’s confused as to what has changed to make the snakes appear this year.
“They’re here somewhere. I just don’t know why they’re here now. I think right now it concerns our whole family really,” said Mclean.
ZooMontana Executive Director Jeff Ewelt acknowledged the surprise of seeing rattlesnakes in neighborhoods, but he also said it is typical this time of year.
“It's been hot. We certainly are in the dog days of summer, and that heat obviously is going to bring them out. That’s going to get them more active looking for their prey,” said Ewelt.
Ewelt did say there isn’t much to do to keep the snakes away, but he did recommend that people in that neighborhood wear more clothes than they typically might this time of year.
“A couple things to keep in mind with rattlesnakes that you really want to be mindful of is prepare. If you’re walking in heavy brush, make sure you wear some jeans and some heavy shoes,” Ewelt said.
As for the kids in the area, the end of their summer certainly came with some changes.
“Usually they can just run around and do what they want to do, especially in the back yard, but that’s not the case, especially with a rattlesnake,” said Archila.
The families in the area hope that the problem will soon be resolved.
“Hopefully the community can come together and try to find out why they’re moving,” said Mclean.