COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado wildlife officials say hikers should give a wide berth to any snakes they encounter after two people were bit by venomous rattlesnakes in parks around Colorado Springs.

(credit: CBS)

The Gazette newspaper reports the vipers are beginning to emerge en masse from their winter dens as the weather warms.

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A woman was bit in the ankle by a rattlesnake at Ute Valley Park last week and another woman was bit April 28 at Garden of the Gods. Both survived.

Tina Jackson with Colorado Parks and Wildlife told the newspaper that rattlers are the state’s only venomous snakes.

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She says the reptiles don’t prey on people but will strike if they need to protect themselves.

Only one person is known to have died of a snakebite in Colorado since 2014.

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