Homeowner shocked to find snake in backyard, officials say it's not uncommon

West El Paso resident finds rattlesnake in his backyard. Photo credit: Andrew Mroczkowski

It was a frightening sight for a west El Paso homeowner.

Andrew Mroczkowski, who said he has lived in the Cimarron neighborhood for about four years, told KFOX14 he found a rattlesnake in his backyard a couple of weeks ago.

“Yes, actually, it was very disturbing,” he said. ”I was watering my plants here in the yard, holding my son here and I found a rattlesnake over in the corner."

Mroczkowski said it was alarming, because his family spends time in the backyard.

"I leave my dog out here a lot sometimes,” he said. “When we go out for dinner or whatever, we leave him back here and the possibility of leaving him back here with a snake like that, that's a scary thought."

So, he said, he decided to take action.

“I grabbed a shovel first and foremost,” he said, “After I gave my son to my wife. And then I found a plastic tote. The snake wasn't being aggressive. So, what I did is, I put the tote near the snake. With the shovel, I just kind of scooped up the snake, which was still coiled up, and slowly placed him into the plastic tote with the shovel."

When asked what he thinks is bringing snakes into the area, Mroczkowski said, "I would think that the construction is moving the wildlife out of the areas and into the neighboring neighborhoods.”

Cesar Mendez, the park superintendent for Franklin Mountain State Park, released this statement to KFOX14:

“It is not uncommon for wildlife to show up at residential areas here in El Paso, especially if they are in close proximity to the Franklin Mountains and/or the Rio Grande/canals. Wildlife moves within their home range that varies in size and they also wander and explore larger areas in search of suitable habitat. We cannot conclude or assume on a single specific reason why these wildlife appeared there, especially without any data collected throughout sound research and studies.”

Mroczkowski said he has started taking precautions.

"The following day, I got some repellent for snakes,” he said. “I cut the grass a little lower and now I'm more cognizant of every time I come out here and take a second look, before I let me dog or my kid play around.”

He posted a picture of the snake on the Nextdoor app, where several of his neighbors commented, saying they have also spotted snakes around their homes.

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