Snake in photo was ‘a threatened species’

Dear editor,

In last week’s paper there was a photo of a young boy holding a timber rattlesnake.

Other common names for this snake are canebrake and velvettail.

The reason I am writing is to inform everyone that this snake is on the Threatened List in Texas. This means that people cannot take, transport, have in their possession or sell timber rattlesnakes.

Timber rattlesnakes are not very aggressive and would rather lie still and hide than rattle.

They are still very venomous and should not be approached.

I hope that a little information will help people make the right decision to call the City Animal Control Officer or Game Warden.

This way the snake can be removed to a safe place.

It is not true that the only good snake is a dead snake.

Timber rattlesnakes have wide heads and narrow necks.

Timber rattlers are the second largest venomous snake in Texas and third largest in the United States. Adult timber rattlesnakes reach a length of 36 to 40 inches, and weigh 1.3 to 5 pounds.

They have a heavy, light yellow, gray or greenish-white body with a rust-colored strip along the length of their back.

Twenty to 29 dark, V-shaped crossbars with jagged edges form a distinctive pattern across their back.

Timbers are easy to distinguish from the more common western diamondback because the end of their tail is solid black.

The diamondback has white and black rings like a raccoon just before the rattle and diamond shapes down their back.

Although many timber rattlers meet their deaths at the hands of people or by automobiles, the fastest way to kill timber rattlesnake populations is by destroying or altering the places they need to hunt, hibernate and live.

Every state inhabited by timber rattlesnakes has laws protecting the species, including Texas.

Marty Irwin

Luminant/Three Oaks Environmental

7207 West FM 696 Elgin, TX 78621

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2010-09-16 digital edition

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