While Florida’s recent shark attacks are getting plenty of notice, Iowa is no at risk of developing a reputation for attacks by one of our native predators. Iowa is home to only a few types of poisonous snakes and none of the rattlers and copperheads are plentiful. Drake University biology professor and snake expert Dr. Jim Christiansen says you’d have to look pretty hard to find a poisonous snake in Iowa.There are only a few places where timber rattlesnakes live in Iowa, while copperheads only inhabit an area in southeast Iowa near Bonaparte. Prairie rattlesnakes are “extremely rare” in Iowa and have been found north of Sioux City. Christiansen says snakes are much like bees or wasps in the respect that if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. He says the only risk is someone stumbling on a snake without realizing it.Christiansen, who studies herpetology or reptiles, says Iowa doesn’t even average one poisonous snakebite per year. If you should happen to get bitten, he says anti-venom serum is very effective and can be administered many hours, even days, after a bite.
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