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Specialist discusses ‘scary’ snake season

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 10:53 am

There’s talk that this is going to be a record year for the snake population. But in Virginia it’s just that—all talk, according to John Kleopfer, state herpatologist with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

“There’s no evidence to support that. It’s pure speculation,” he said.

Kleopfer attributes the rumors in large part to news stories that have gained a lot of traction. An NBC12 News segment reported that experts say this snake season is already shaping up to be one for the books. The segment included an interview with one of those experts, Richard Perry, owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, a company that offers an on-call snake removal service.

Perry told the network this is one of the worst seasons he has seen and said he’s already getting a lot of calls. He cited warm spells early in the year and the fact that we have had a lot of rain. Perry’s claims have since been re-quoted.

“[Perry] may be responding to more calls. But that’s probably a product of them promoting their company and more people knowing where to call,” said Kleopfer. “And of course social media is exacerbating that claim because more people are able to post pictures when they find snakes. But there’s no science whatsoever behind saying that snake populations in Virginia are increasing due to weather patterns” and there’s no official data to support those claims.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 5/8/19

Snake season is here, but is it really as bad as everything is saying?