Successful green mojave rattlesnake relocation

All (very hurried) photographs by Stephanie Smith.

Here on our land, Tuesday mid-afternoon: Rhonda, our friend who happens to be a friend of snakes, discovers a green mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus), one of the most venomous creatures on Earth, coiled next to her parked car.

What to do? Killing the animal is out of the question for Rhonda. Leaving it on our land, where it can pose a real danger to humans, is also out of the question. So, it must be captured and released to an environment in which it can thrive, without endangering people. How to do this, though? Animal Control may take too long time to get here. Rhonda has a snake-capture device thing—she’s captured snakes before—but it doesn’t have enough reach for her to feel comfortable with a green mojave. Maybe use a trash can and a longhandle shovel, like Robyn and Linda do? Okay, but who’s going to operate the shovel? Meanwhile, the snake, sensing something has gone seriously awry with her (his?) day, skedaddles toward the brush. Rhonda seizes the moment. Lynelle places the can facing the snake in the direction it’s headed, and Rhonda puts the shovel in front of the snake’s head. Eventually, trying to get around the shovel, it practically leaps into the can…

…and Lynelle quickly seals the lid. The ladies have captured the snake! ¡Increible! Now what? Call rattlesnake enthusiast Burt, he may be interested in taking the snake in on his land (?!?). Burt arrives within 15 minutes, with a friend. He opens the lid to see what’s inside…

Burt says the snake is already agitated, and he wants to calm it down. Best thing to do is put the snake in a pillowcase, using Rhonda’s snake-capture device…

A whole lotta rattling going on. Are we about to see a man get bit by a green mojave? He does seem to know what he’s doing…

Got ‘er done. The bag is now knotted and taped close with duct tape. Burt is surprised to see a green mojave on our land—he says they usually prefer more rocky areas. He considers keeping it on his land, which is our similar to ours, but, remembering he currently has a dog around, thinks better of it. He considers keeping the snake overnight, perhaps—to sit with it—and then release it somewhere appropriate the next morning.

People say that if you see one green mojave, there’s probably at least one other around—the mates live near each other…

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About jay babcock

JT Homesteader, Arthur Magazine ... Joshua Tree, CA ...
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2 Responses to Successful green mojave rattlesnake relocation

  1. chris g says:

    hi guys–
    a few things for people to note:
    1.) any time of year in the mojave desert is rattler season. here we are in march and there you have a green mo in your yard. we’ve had rattlers in winter months here on the south side of the highway. so, don’t let your guard down because most of the public warnings come in summer. in fact, a nice warm spring, or even winter day is exactly when they would love to come out for a little sun.
    2.) getting a green mojave into a pillow case is a really dangerous task and i wouldn’t recommend it. in a pinch, corral it into a trash from a safe distance like you guys did (snakes can strike the distance of their body length!) then i would duct tape the lid securely and bring it out to a remote, unpopulated area to release it. again, every task done at a long shovel length distance.
    thanks for sharing, and please be aware, especially when walking a close path by bushes and the new spring ground cover.
    PS– sometimes if San Berdoo vector control is in the area, they will make it over and take the snake from your can to a safe release. worth a call, as they’ve showed up twice to grab a few large ‘speckled mitchell’ rattlers from my place.
    ciao, c

  2. Pingback: ALL PRAISE IS DUE TO RHONDA LYNN HAYES | Learning to Live Here

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