A family from Wisconsin got more than they bargained for at their Airbnb property in Arizona during what is locally called “the snake season.” As they were preparing to leave the house, the dad spotted two Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes mating on the front path. This effectively stranded the family inside the house as they were too scared to pass them to make their way out.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are found widely in Central and North America and are the movie stars of the rattlesnake world. They have starred in many Westerns! They are carnivores and can live for up to 20 years. The distinctive diamond pattern runs the length of their body but at the end of their tail is the rattle – which is striped black and white.
They tend to be reclusive and avoid humans – that’s why we usually find them hiding under vegetation or rocks. However, these two had got a bit carried away with the mating process and were out in the open.
At the start of the footage, rattlesnake expert Bryan Hughes, explains that during March and October, both snakes and humans are more active outdoors. Therefore, we encounter each other more often. Once the temperature reaches 75 degrees, snakes and humans like to be outdoors as much as they can.
Then, we meet Marissa from a Snake Relocation Team who is on her way to the Airbnb call in Paradise Valley. Watch in awe as Marissa expertly picks up both snakes in one go and gently lowers them into her secure snake carrier. The guests inquire whether they should wait until the mating process has finished but Marissa explains that it can take hours so it is best to get the relocation underway!
We later see both the male and female being released into the same cave so they can carry on with the mating if they need to. Rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous so they do not lay eggs. Instead, they give birth to between 10 and 20 neonates (live young) and this happens around 165 days after mating. The sad fact is that many neonates die before reaching adulthood because they are eaten by other animals.
Marissa delivers these snakes safely into a suitable habitat. Unfortunately, the holiday-makers had been given some poor advice before calling her which was to pour vinegar on the snakes! This is never advisable – not only is it cruel but it could also result in you getting bitten. The correct thing to do is back off and call in the experts.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are not endangered but they do face a lot of threats as a result of human activity. Their habitats are under threat and they also have a lot of predators including owls, hawks and some other snakes. Hopefully, the snakes in this clip have been given the best chance of survival.
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