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Rattlesnakes, gators and turtles – oh my!

15 Jul

Jim Dix's bucket o fun

Recent news reports out of northern Utah have warned that this year’s belated spring may have delayed the rattlesnake’s annual mating and migration rituals, essentially setting them to coincide directly with summer human outdoor rituals.  This period has mostly passed, but I thought it might be a good idea to school myself on rattlesnake behavior.

Reptile Rescue Service’s Jim Dix invited me and the boys to his house in Salt Lake, which he shares with over 300 (yes, 300) snakes and dozens of other exotic and dangerous critters.  The story will appear in tonight’s Transcript Bulletin, but here are a few pictures of our visit:

Rattlesnake, meet ophidiophobe. Ophidiophobe, meet rattlesnake

Notice the wedge-shaped head

The infamous rattle

A collage of scales

Can you spot the venom gland?

Dix rescued this baby alligator from the Del Taco dumpster in Lake Point

One of 8 giant tortoises that roam Dix's backyard

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5 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2010 in Critters, Trip Reports

 

5 responses to “Rattlesnakes, gators and turtles – oh my!

  1. Phoenix Snake Removal

    July 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    That’s a really nice looking lutosus. I haven’t seen many in the Salt Lake area (I have seen most of mine up in Eastern Idaho), do you have any other photos of rattlesnakes from that area?

     
    • bonnevillemariner

      July 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      I don’t. To tell you the truth, in my 30-plus years of exploring Utah deserts, I’ve never seen a rattler in the wild. Strange, eh? According to Dix, this snake is typical of what he deals with in the Salt Lake City/Tooele areas.

       
  2. Tyler

    July 19, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Clint, you sure have seen rattlers in the wild. Remember the one we ran across on the Pony Express trail? And before that there was the one that we saw in Skull Valley…the same one that hung in a tree for a while and later that night provided a little more entertainment as we stared into the fire?

     
    • Brett

      July 19, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      Although you don’t see them every day, Tylers are out there this time of year. Snakes should be aware of their surroundings and just stay away when they hear a Tyler. Most Tyler bites are avoidable. It’s also a good idea to take a Tyler bite kit if a snake is venturing into an area where there is a possibility they could encounter a Tyler.

       
    • bonnevillemariner

      July 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      Dang, why didn’t I remember those two encounters? It seems I have indeed seen a rattler or two in the wild (though I’m not sure I saw the Skull Valley snake while it was still living). Thanks for the reminder!

       

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