Snake sightings at Fort Oglethorpe park concern residents - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Snake sightings at Fort Oglethorpe park concern residents

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It was a frightening sight for a North Georgia woman and her family when they saw a snake in a creek. Temperatures continue to warm up and officials said this is the time snakes will be more apparent.

Tiffany Powell told Channel 3 she and her three kids were at Gilbert-Stephenson Park on Tuesday in Fort Oglethorpe when they saw something unsettling, a snake. They thought it was a copperhead snake in the creek, which is known to be venomous.

"Like it was nerve wracking. I was shaking scared and you know it's their habitat that we're in, but it's also still scary."

Channel 3 took Powell's concerns to the city of Fort Oglethorpe. So far, the city manager said they've had no reports of snakes in the creek this year, but they do say residents should report any sightings of snakes to park employees.

"You certainly don't want to try to handle the snake. If you're like me, you go the other way," Ron Goulart, Fort Oglethorpe City Manager said.

Channel 3 sent Powell's pictures of the snake to Georgia's Department of Natural Resources. It turns out the snake Powell saw was a non-venomous water snake that closely resembles a copperhead snake. 

"Venomous snakes are larger bodied with a more triangular head. They have slitted pupils and they all contain a heat sensing pit that's in between their eyes and nostrils," Ryan Witmer with the Chattanooga Zoo said.

Typically, copperhead snakes aren't found swimming in the water, according to Georgia's Department of Natural Resources. Powell told Channel 3 she wanted to give parents a heads up regardless if the snake she saw was venomous or not. 

"To warn other parents. I would want to know if there were snakes in the water. I wouldn't just want my children walking through there," Powell said.

For safety reasons, Fort Oglethorpe city officials said they plan on putting up more signs telling people to not swim or wade in the creek along with other polices they have at the park.

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