National Park Service warns tourists of timber rattlesnakes on NC’s Outer Banks

This is the timber rattlesnake that appeared at the bottom step of a staff building on the Outer Banks, near Bodie Island Light Station. Cape Hatteras National Seashore

North Carolina’s beaches aren’t typically associated with rattlesnakes, but Cape Hatteras National Seashore has issued an alert that the venomous snakes are showing up at the most inopportune of places on the Outer Banks.

As an example, the park service posted a May 9 photo on Facebook of a timber rattlesnake found curled up beside the bottom step of a staff building near Bodie Island Light Station. That’s among the Outer Banks’ most popular tourist attractions.

“Rattlesnakes strike when threatened or deliberately provoked,” said the post.

The warning also included a list of preventative measures, such as avoiding the plentiful “tall grass, weeds, and heavy underbrush” along Outer Bank’s beaches. That is where the rattlesnakes like to hide during the day, officials said.

This marks the second time in nine months that an Outer Banks rattlesnake has been featured prominently on social media.

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