Locals warned after venomous snake 'spotted' in busy Exeter park

A venomous snake was reportedly spotted in a busy Exeter park, sparking an urgent warning to residents. Exeter City Council warned locals of the reported sighting at Heavitree Park and has issued advice for what to do if you come across an Adder.

Adders are the only venomous snake in the UK, but they are protected by law in the UK as their numbers are declining. Adders are often feared, but incidents of people or pets being bitten are extremely rare.

They tend to be shy and secretive, typically only biting in self-defence if they are picked up or stepped on. But following the recent sighting, Exeter City Council has warned the public of what to do in case of a sighting.

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Following the Adder sighting, residents have been warned against walking through long grass. The council adds that there is "plenty of space" for both wildlife and wildlife to enjoy the site.

A spokesperson for the Council said: "Reports of recent sightings in Heavitree are unlikely to be an Adder. But if it is, there is no reason for residents to be concerned because Adders are extremely shy.

"Residents should be aware of their surroundings and keep to the well-maintained areas. Don't venture into the long grass unnecessarily. There is plenty of space for both residents and wildlife to enjoy the site."

Devon Wildlife Trust has issued advice stating: "Adders can be identified by the characteristic zig-zag pattern down its back, mainly found in woodland glades, on heathlands and coast paths. Adders are secretive animals and will generally only bite if picked up or trodden on."

If you are see a snake and are unsure if its an Adder, you can identify Devon's different snakes here. Adders are the only venomous snakes in the UK, and it is very unlikely that one would attack, so while care should be taken not to disturb one, they do not pose any immediate threat.

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