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Indiana sees significant increase in venomous snakes

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -

The state of Indiana is seeing an increase in venomous snakes.

It comes one year after the state changed its law banning the sale of venomous reptiles.

Now Indiana Conservation Officers are training in anticipation of poisonous snake bites.

Just last week, 20 officers across the state took part in a training session to deal with these potentially deadly situations.

Conversation officers trained in Plainfield, Indiana, so they know what to do when disaster strikes.

“Because of our training and experience handling venomous reptiles we know they can be extremely dangerous,” explained Indiana Conservation Officer Jonathon Boyd.

Boyd said in the past few months the state has seen a significant increase in the reptile trade.

Since 2015, the Department of Natural Resources has had no jurisdiction over privately owned, legally purchased animals, including wild animals.

“Indiana’s seeing an influx of these venomous reptiles we have never seen before. And without the regulation, we are concerned an individual could be bitten or these snakes could get loose in someone’s home or residence,” Boyd said.

He explained that many of these venomous snakes are purchased at exotic animal and trade shows. And ads are also popping up on popular websites such as Craigslist.

“We have a lot of novice people purchasing and possessing these venomous reptiles with no training,” Boyd said.

It is unclear how many of the poisonous snakes are now living as pets.

“Since it’s not regulated we don’t have a specific number as to how many snakes are coming into the state,” said Boyd.

And officers add there are no restrictions or housing requirements.

So the DNR urges only those with the proper training and experience take on such risk.

Officers said they have not yet received any calls about loose snakes or snake bites.

If you want to report a snake call the DNR at 1-800- TIP-IDNR.

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