By Wyatt Freeman

For those intrepid enough to traverse the forestry of Regional Park, surprises may be lurking in the brush. Several copperhead and rattlesnake sightings have been reported recently at the local park.

“You know, it’s a thousand-acre park, so there’s bound to be some wildlife around,” said Teresa Ervin, Ardmore Parks and Recreation director. Reported sighting include snakes, deer, armadillos, mountain lions, skunks and even foxes, but Ervin says there hasn’t been an injury due to wildlife during any of the seven years she has been with the parks and recreation department.

“Mostly, people just need to remember that these animals are just as scared of you as you are of them, and as long as you don’t provoke them, you should be fine,” Ervin said.

Park officials encourage everyone to come out and enjoy their walking trails, skate park and playground, but remind them to practice safety when in the park.

“If you see some kind of dangerous wildlife, you can call the park office,” Ervin said. “From there, we will contact animal control and attempt to locate the animal. But oftentimes, it is best just to give them a wide berth and keep alert as you’re hiking in the park.”