Snake Sense in Millbrook

If you're a little squeamish at the sight of snakes, then you would have felt a little strange in Millbrook on Saturday. An event at the Alabama nature center in Millbrook encouraged the public to get close to the slithering creatures.

Doctor Robert Hastings knows about snake encounters first hand.   Talking to many visitors today, Hastings emphasized the importance of understanding snakes, especially when you see one in everyday life.

"They're not out to hurt us.  They just want to protect themselves," he said.

Kids also got to have some fun while learning, getting to hold snakes from Dr. Hastings' collection.

"It really gives an opportunity for them to handle them in a safe and a controlled environment," said Tim Gothard, Executive Director of the Alabama Nature Center.

If you do see a snake in your yard, it's a good idea just to leave it alone. However, Dr. Hastings says the chances of it being poisonous are very slim.  Out of the 40 snakes here in Alabama, only 6 have venom.  The others may hurt a bit when they bite, but they're of no real danger to your health.

Either way, the event seemed to curb some of the usual feelings people have of the reptiles.

"if we can talk to children and educate them early in life, then we can avoid that morbid fear that so many adults have," said Dr. Hastings.

For more information on the snakes of Alabama, please visit the Alabama Wildlife Federation online.