Arizona is no stranger to a wide variety of snakes that thrive in that dry, hot environment. There are nonvenomous snakes like Arizona milk snakes that cleverly mimic venomous snakes’ appearances but are not dangerous. Then there are the venomous snakes, which consist of a wide variety of rattlesnakes, including the sidewinder, great basin, tiger, speckled, and twin-spotted, to name a few.
Rattlesnakes are recognized primarily by their sound. You are more likely to hear one before you spot it. They range in size from two to six feet long, and Arizona is home to more rattlesnake species than anywhere else. Although rattlesnake bites can be deadly, they rarely are—so long as they’re treated quickly. Rattlesnakes dwell inside dens known officially as hibernacula. From the surface, it could just look like a small hole, but inside, multiple rattlesnakes may be hibernating together.
Rattlesnake Den in a Scottsdale Backyard
This video opens with a look at how a snake is retrieved from a large ceramic planter in a Scottsdale backyard and transferred over into a bucket where other rattlesnakes have been gathered. The man keeps the snake tongs on the rattlesnake, but it is naturally upset—it wriggles about, avoiding the bucket. You can hear someone in the background say, “He’s a live one!”
Finally, he gets it in the bucket, and the video cuts to the man from Rattlesnake Solutions narrating his experience. He shares that he’s caught both gopher and diamondback rattlesnakes in that area. He approaches the den and looks for any visible rattlesnakes. It takes him a moment, but he spots one. He zooms in, and it’s hard to make out at first because it blends in well with the pile of tree trunks and branches that make up the packrat nest.
He then moves forward with what he calls an “ideal release” situation, taking the rattlesnakes one by one and letting them slither into the den—there is only one that was found in a different place and that he has to release on its own. He has recovered two gopher snakes and five diamondback rattlesnakes from yards in Scottsdale.
He finds another den to release the last rattlesnake and gives you a good look at what rattlesnake dens look like so that if you’re ever out and about exploring in Arizona, you know what to avoid.
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