While much of the country is still experiencing snow, in Arizona, spring is very much alive. This means more critters are active in the desert climate, including rattlesnakes.
One Phoenix-area homeowner was in for quite a shock when she found a young rattler curled up on a glue board inside her garage. The snake was impossibly stuck to the glue, without a chance of escaping on its own.
To some people, this scenario may seem like the ideal situation. A poisonous snake trapped inside a garage seems much better than having one slither around inside your home.
But Daniel Marchand, curator for the Phoenix Herpetological Society, reminds people that snakes have their place in the desert ecosystem. Rather than killing a rattlesnake on your property, Marchand argues, call the PHS and ask them to help.
Marchand says receiving phone calls regarding snakes on glue boards is a fairly common occurrence each spring. “And we get, ‘Why don’t we kill it? It’s a rattlesnake, it doesn’t have a purpose,”’ Marchand told local news station 3TV.
“And it does it actually has a very very important role in our ecosystem,” Marchand said. “Snakes are nature’s rodent control.”
When Marchand arrived to find the young western diamondback stuck to a glue board, he said the snake was obviously distressed.
“It was very nervous and it was rattling,” he recalled.
“He was everywhere on that trap,” Marchand continued. “You couldn’t have gotten more snake on that trap. It was the craziest thing.”
Marchand and a colleague spent about 20 minutes working to gently ease the snake’s skin from the glue. They worked carefully, using Q-tips and olive oil to release the reptile.
“It’s obviously very dangerous,” Marchand said of the up-close-and-personal procedure. “Anytime you have to put your hands onto a venomous snake there’s always a chance if you make a mistake, it’s very costly.”
Eventually, the rattler was placed in a bucket of soapy water for a rinse. Marchand and his colleague released the snake back into the desert, far away from homes and people.
“All I can say is if anybody is using glue traps and they get into a situation where they either get a lizard or a snake on it, don’t just throw the thing away,” Marchand expressed. “Give us a call, drop it off with us. We’ll be more than happy to remove the animal from the trap for you and let the animal free.”
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