July 05, 2016 - 11:31 AM
PENTICTON - Visitors to an Okanagan waterpark park came across a slippery surprise in Oliver yesterday.
Penticton Conservation Officer Jim Beck says the conservation office received a call yesterday, July 4, around 2:20 p.m. of a rattlesnake in the Oliver Kinsman Spray Park.
Beck says a rattlesnake researcher happened to be in Oliver at the time, with qualifications allowing him to capture and move snakes.
“He offered to assist us in relocating the snake, so I took him up on his offer,” Beck says.
Two Town of Oliver employees cordoned off the area where the snake had been sighted, shutting down the waterpark until the snake could be relocated.
Beck had not received word Tuesday whether the snake had been found and relocated, or had moved away on its own prior to the researcher arriving at the park.
He said the relocations are made only short distances away, because the action can be detrimental to the snake.
Beck says his office usually gets a few calls of this nature each year. Generally conservation staff make the relocation, but in this case the researcher was close by and qualified. He said certain criteria had to be met before conservation officers would act on an incident, including such things as location and public safety.
“If it’s just a snake in someone’s backyard, we can provide information on what to do, generally to set a sprinkler and encourage it to leave. If we get people who are comfortable with snakes, we can coach them on what they can do as well,” Beck says.
Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act, and Beck advises those handling snakes need to do so within the confines of the Act.
A rattlesnake found its way into the Oliver spray park on Monday, July 4. The snake is believed to have been relocated by a rattlesnake researcher based in Oliver at the time.
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