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Watch an Arizona Family Discover a Terrifying Rattlesnake Den in Their Backyard

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: April 15, 2023
© Audrey Snider-Bell/
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Think You Know Snakes?
Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Points:

  • In the video below, six western diamondback rattlesnakes and two Sonoran gopher snakes were removed from where they were living in a rock feature near a pool in a family’s backyard.
  • The expert in the video identified an area that snakes use socially. He had already released a male and female there so he knew that another couple would be welcomed.
  • The snakes were released into an abandoned woodrat burrow – a favorite habitat for snakes.

Not what you want to find in your backyard — or anywhere else around your home actually! This clip does not have a gentle introduction. Right away you see a rattlesnake being retrieved from a plant pot and refuse to cooperate with a snake expert as he tries to deposit it safely into a secure container for removal. You can clearly hear the warning rattling as the snake thrashes about. We learn from the video notes that in total six western diamondback rattlesnakes and two Sonoran gopher snakes were retrieved from the same house in Scottsdale. They had been living near a rock feature and a pool.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
Western diamondback rattlesnakes are found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.

©Alexander Wong/

Releasing Snakes Back Into the Wild

The remainder of the video shows the snake expert releasing snakes back into the wild, which must be a very satisfying part of the job. He starts by looking for some snakes that he had released earlier. We bet that he spots them a long time before you do! Their camouflage against the sticks and branches is excellent. Importantly, the fact that the snake is there proves that this area can successfully support the species.

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The snakes are in a wood rat nest although these are also sometimes called pack rats. These rodents are native to North America and like to live in deserts, woodlands, and caves. This particular habitat is woodland and grassland. These guys are well known for picking up objects and using them to make nests and dams. They usually grow to around 18.5 inches in length and weigh up to around 14 ounces. Their nests create a great environment for snakes.

Wood rats’ nests make a great spot for snakes

© Leonard Photography

The Art of Releasing Snakes

To give released snakes the best chance of survival, you need to know what you are doing. This expert explains that he is releasing two Sonoran gopher snakes and two western diamondback rattlesnakes.

Because the snakes are from the same area, it is okay to release them in the same spot. He has identified the pack rat nest as an area that the snakes use socially. There is already a male-female pair there and releasing just one other male could have been an issue as it would have upset the original male rattlesnake. However, because a female is also being released, it should work out fine!

Other Amazing Animal Videos You Might Like

If you’re interested in seeing how another member of Rattlesnake Solutions removes a different kind of rattlesnake from a home, check out this video showing Marissa helping a couple in Phoenix with a blue-speckled rattlesnake that is wedging itself under their door.

While it’s rare for this venomous species of snake to bite humans, its venom is potent and can result in severe health concerns including slight paralysis, so it’s smart to remove one from your home. Read more about the encounter with this snake here.

Watch how Marissa uses two types of snake tongs to wrangle the resisting rattlesnake out and then relocate it to a new, rocky habitat.

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The Featured Image

coiled western diamondback rattlesnake
Western diamondback rattlesnakes coil up and rattle their tails to discourage predators.
© Audrey Snider-Bell/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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