Monday, October 26, 2015

A potentially deadly trap

Nearly too well camouflaged for his own good: trapped Diamondback
 At least it could have been. Luckily Randy spotted a rattler this morning and called me to bring my camera. Looking more closely, we found that 'our' big Diamondback had crawled into a chicken wire cage and got stuck. The wire had been used to protect young plants, but we learned a while ago that it can be fatal to all kinds of reptiles who get stuck in it. So the fences were out of commission and should be stored out of reach, but a recent windstorm had blown stuff all over the place.

So I got a long-handled pair of clippers - but it only served to bend the loop away from the snake's body. He still couldn't get out. So we had to get closer. He's a very strong, big snake. I remember his powerful writhing from the only time I had to move him - an unsettling experience even though I'm used to lifting snakes with hooks or tongs.

A noose-stick is no tool to lift a heavy snake, but it keeps the head securely under control so I could cut the wire
 This time we used our old noose-stick. Not a tool to lift a delicately boned snake, but quite safe for holding the head in place. So Randy held him and I got the wire cutters. It wasn't difficult, the snake held still and slid out of the wire fence unharmed.

He immediately rearranged his coils and stared indignantly, but stayed in place for a while before slithering off. I'm sure we'll see more of him, he's been a regular visitor to our patio for months.  We were lucky that we found him early in the morning of a cloudy, rather mild day. Direct sun exposure kills a snake in no time because they have to depend entirely on behavioral thermoregulation.


  1. Oh great job guys! Im so glad you could help him or her in time. Never a dull day at your house.