GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are warning to be careful of rattlesnakes after a bite proved to be fatal on the Front Range.
CPW said that same snake doesn't live on the Western Slope, but the midget-faded rattlesnake does make an appearance.The midget faded rattlesnake is a sub-species of the prairie rattlesnake that's found all across Colorado, except here in the Grand Valley. They're smaller than the prairie rattlesnake but have many of the same features like a triangular shaped head.
While they may be little, they're mighty.
“The venom for midget faded rattlesnakes is between 10 and 30 times more potent than other western or prairie rattlers in Colorado. So they’re small snakes, but their bite can be particularly significant," said Brad Petch, a senior wildlife biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said to always be on the lookout for these kinds of snakes, especially in rocky or heavy brushed areas. They don't always make the rattle. Since it's fall, they're starting to gather together before they hibernate.
Bites are pretty rare, CPW said, but if you are bitten, they said to keep the bite lower than your body core, stay as still as possible and isolate the wound as best you can and seek medical attention.
They also said the rattlesnakes don't always put out venom when they bite, especially if they've just eaten.