This archived article was written by: Seth Richards
The USU Eastern men’s basketball team became victims to the terrifying sight of a snake in the Bunnell Dmitrich Athletic Center on Friday, Sept. 7. Unaware of the variety of snake species or present threat, the team may have seen to the snake’s disposal improperly.
In recounting the event, Ruth Whiteside of the athletic department, said, “I went in to [the office to] make a copy and I came out and the guys were screaming. And there’s a snake [in the concessions area].”
Calmed from their initial terror, the team elected Jordan Contreras to dispose of the threat. Without causing a present threat to anyone, stomping on the snake may have been an illegal act.
Of the 31 species of snake indigenous to Utah, only a few are poisonous. The poisonous snakes, which can be identified by longer fangs in the front and poison glands on the sides of their heads, may be killed if they present an immediate threat to people or livestock. Otherwise, the Division of Wildlife Resources’ Price office may be contacted at (435) 613-3700. Someone from the division will attempt to remove the snake in a timely and safe manner.
According to a 2010 publication by the Utah State University Cooperative Extension, regarding venomous snakes, snakes may enter buildings through entryways, windows, exposed external pipes, or any other entrance through which insects and rodents might enter. Outdoors they are often found in sagebrush, tall grasses, junipers, and shady places. It is advisable that, in an effort to stay alive, those recreating in the hills and desert around Price, stay on the trails.
In the event of a snake bite, the victim should keep calm, keep the bite below the heart, wash the area, cover area with sanitary covering, and get medical help as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should anyone apply a tourniquet, follow the snake that bit them or their recreating companion, suck on the wound, or cut the victim.