- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Experts say recent news reports of snakes showing up on Galveston beaches aren’t unusual since rattlers come out of hibernation to hunt for food this time of year.

The Galveston County Daily News (http://bit.ly/1W36YQ8 ) reports that a Houston news station said last week that spring breakers could be surprised by the rattlesnakes’ presence on the island’s West End.

“That’s part of living on Galveston,” said Hal Newsom, the owner of Animal Control-Wildlife Inc.

Galveston Island Beach Patrol and Galveston Police Department officials say that the number of snakes is normal and that there haven’t been any bite reports this year.

Signs have long been posted to warn beach-goers against walking through the dunes, and to be on the lookout for poisonous snakes. A Galveston Park Board of Trustees spokeswoman said Friday there’s no plan to post additional warnings to beach-goers about snakes ahead of spring break.

Local beach-watchers have also reported an increase in the number of Portuguese Men o’ War washing up on the island’s beaches. But despite a recent flurry of Facebook posts about the men o’ war, beach patrol commander Peter Davis said lifeguards hadn’t noted any increased number and had not treated any stings.

Animal appearances seem to go in cycles, said beach patrol commander Peter Davis. In some years there are more sightings of snakes than sharks, and in others, the reverse is true.

“If you average it out, it really hasn’t increased over time,” Davis said.

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Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com

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