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For snakes’ sake and yours, learn to share the trails

A western diamondback rattlesnake IF YOU GO WHAT: Snake safety workshop WHEN: 2:30 p.m. May 2 WHERE: Burnet County Fairgrounds, 1301 Houston Clinton Drive in Burnet ADMISSION: Free FOR MORE: Email


BURNET — Protecting people and nature is one reason the Burnet 4-H Horse Club is sponsoring a snake safety workshop May 2.

The free event begins at 2:30 p.m. May 2 at the Burnet County Fairgrounds, 1301 Houston Clinton Drive.

Tim Cole of the Austin Reptile Service will be the guest speaker. He has been keeping reptiles for 55 years and in business for 15 years.

“We think it’s exciting to learn about snakes and protecting people and nature as well and not thinking they’ll attack you when you go on trail rides,” said Dharma Brown, the media coordinator for the 4-H club and a fifth-grader at Highland Lakes Elementary School.

Cole will have 20 different venomous snakes native to the area, including the water moccasin, Brown said.

Snakes are useful, Dharma said, because they help keep down the rodent population, adding that “rodents are nasty. They damage crops and homes.”

Dharma’s mother, Delilah, who helped coordinate the event, said some people might not understand the nature of a snake. Rattlesnakes, she said, don’t attack unless they feel threatened. And if they don’t rattle, it’s because they want to be left alone.

Cole will go over the appearances and behaviors of snakes and clarify urban legends, Delilah said.

“He feels it’s his role to educate people to learn how to identify snakes and live with them in harmony,” she said.

This workshop is an example of what the club teaches, Delilah said.

“The club wants to get kids ready for life skills that are useful for everyday life,” she said. “If they can identify a snake, that’s important, so they don’t get scared.”

Email Kelly Haydon at for more information about the workshop.