CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For many locals, the existence of a large population of rattlesnakes in the dunes of Padre and Mustang Island beaches is common knowledge.
“(I was) always told all my life not to go in the dunes because of snakes,” Corpus Christi native Kathy Robertson said.
But for other people, especially visitors from out of town, rattlesnakes living so close to where thousands of people enjoy fun in the sun is surprising.
A recent social media post is bringing attention to the issue and a warning from coastal parks leaders.
A Facebook user who wanted to remain anonymous shared two videos with a friend who then posted them.
The videos show a five to six foot long rattlesnake coiled ready to strike between the dunes and the beach near Bob Hall Pier.
“I was looking for shells (in the dunes) earlier," visitor from Oklahoma Armista Box said after viewing the video. "So yeah, I’m not going to go over there now."
Nueces County Coastal Parks Director Scott Cross says beachgoers are allowed to walk in the dunes -- but he doesn't recommend it.
"There’s nothing to keep you from walking in the dunes," Cross said. "But the rattlesnakes are there, and they are prolific."
Cross didn't have exact figures on snake encounters or attacks, but while rare, he says they do happen.
“I’m surprised we haven’t had more incidents," he said. "We have had people who were messing around in the dunes and ended up getting bit. I can think of two times. I think they were both up in Port (Aransas) where this happened.”
And in hopes of keeping a snake bite from happening to his family, visitor from Utah Logan Sunday says they'll steer clear of the dunes.
“I’ve got little kids, so I’ll keep that in mind as we’re moving around,” he said.