LOGAN – Rattlesnakes reportedly seen by children at Hyrum Gibbon’s Park playground Friday prompted the park to be closed. The park is located at 1400 East 350 South in Logan.
Children playing in the park reported they saw two snakes, a large one and a smaller one, in a crack in the play area.
The park will remain closed until Utah Division of Wild Life Resources or Logan City Police have cleared the park of the snakes.
Logan City Police Assistant Chief Jim Simmons said they were supplied a video of snakes and they look like rattlesnakes, but they haven’t confirmed it yet.
“From the video we’ve seen they sure look like rattlesnakes, but without actually seeing them in the playground area we can’t confirm they are there,” he said. “Rattlesnakes are protected so you can’t harm or molest them.”
Nevertheless, the department has been sprinkling snake repellent granules around all the sidewalk cracks and gaps between the sidewalks and grass to detour snake activity.
“The snake repellent granules emit a smell that snakes don’t like, and we’ve spread it around in places the snakes might be,” Simmons said.” We are hoping they will vacate the area and go somewhere else.”
Sergeant C. Carter, who oversees Animal Control, was at the playground spreading some snake repellent while LT Shand Nazer of the patrol division was on hand to watch the procedure.
“I will be checking the area early in the morning when snakes are out in the sun,” he said. ”The park is on my way to work so I can check it in the mornings when they come out to get sun.”
Utah Division of Wildlife resources Jim Hansen was also at the park Monday morning trying to find signs of snakes. The state agency has also been taking time to look for venomous serpents.
One man at the park Monday morning said they were having a BBQ in the evening and said if they found one it might be meat worth eating. Another man said he walks his dog in the park everyday and hasn’t seen any snakes.
There are five rattlesnake species in Utah, the most common of which is the Great Basin rattlesnake. They are most active during the summer at dawn and dusk.
A rattlesnake’s camouflage helps it to blend into its surroundings, so you may pass by a rattlesnake and never know it. DWR said snakes are an important part of Utah’s ecosystem and help keep the rodent population in check.
Snake bites in Utah are quite rare, and most people who are bitten by rattlesnakes are usually harassing or trying to kill the snake. Like most animals, rattlesnakes fear humans and want to be left alone.
“However, if a snake thinks it’s threatened and there’s no way to escape,” DWR Native Species Coordinator Drew Dittmer said, “in that case, the snake will often strike to protect itself. Just don’t approach it. Give it plenty of space and leave it alone. Respect the snake, and you will be safe.”