ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The sound of a rattling tail isn’t uncommon for a guy like Nathan Hawkins, who works with snakes on a daily basis.
Abilene resident Cody McNiel, on the other hand, doesn’t see them often.
“I’m not really used to snakes at all, they’re one of my phobias,” said McNiel.
McNiel was forced to face his fears last week when he came face to face with a rattlesnake in his backyard.
“One of our dogs that we have never howls and he just started howling one night and I went out there and heard the rattle, so I got them all inside,” said McNiel. “When I finally found it, the snake was right here, I thought it was inside my grill but it wasn’t.”
The snake snuck into his backyard, which lies along Elm Creek.
“Most of the stuff we get within the city is going to be around a creek, because that’s just a natural funnel for all wildlife,” said Big Country Snake Removal owner Nathan Hawkins.
Hawkins says while poisonous snakes can be spotted within city limits, this case is likely due to the time of year.
“The snakes are finishing up their yearly patterns and that’s why you’re going to see them looking for places to den up for the winter,” said Hawkins. “They’ll get underneath the houses, sheds, barns, anything that they can squeeze under, they’re going to be there.”
Hawkins suggest neighbors be on the lookout for any more snakes, however he says if a resident is to run into one, to call professionals before trying to handle it themselves.
“Up to 85 to 90 percent of people are actually bitten because they’re trying to harm a snake,” said Hawkins.