High river levels, flooding bringing unwelcome guests into yards

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, July 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The rising water is having more than a few surprising side effects, with some of them showing up in your backyard.

Experts say the wildlife along the river isn't sure where home is right now, so "river critters" are showing up in a lot of unwanted places, such as Brenda Mills-Lockee's backyard.

"When this water comes up, every living thing that lives in those rocks come to the bank," she said.

She took a picture of an alligator in her backyard, but he isn't the only "river critter" hanging around.

"All the snakes that are supposed to be out there are on our property now, and same thing with the other side of the river," she said.

And Lockee isn't the only one seeing more wildlife. News 12 caught up with trappers who work for CSRA Trapping Service who say they've gotten several snake calls lately.

"With the rising temperatures and the rainfall that we've had, we've gotten a lot more snake calls here in the past few weeks," said Jordan Rice, who is a professional wildlife trapper.

News 12 went out with Rice on Friday when he got a call from Ricky Wagoner to come trap a copperhead hanging out on his front porch.

We searched for the unwelcome guest for a while, but couldn't find him.

Rice says calls about snakes are becoming the norm since the river is on the rise.

"They've been kind of washed out of their natural habitats and they will be pushed further up to dry land, which in essence, is in people's backyards," he said.

And, with the river still rising, and more rain in our future, Rice says it's probably a good idea to keep an eye out for more wildlife.

If you see a snake or alligator on your property, experts say it's best to just leave them alone. If you're worried about it, call a professional service or animal control to come take care of it, but don't try to trap it yourself.

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