11 Stories

Odd New Tool in Study of Wildfires: Rattlesnakes

Researcher will track snakes near Washington burn site

(Newser) - Animals flee fire—but what happens when the flames are extinguished? That's exactly what Joey Chase of Central Washington University is trying to find out. Over the next year, he plans to track two male Northern Pacific rattlesnakes, each about 10 years old, found near the site of a... More »

Hero Dog Saves 7-Year-Old Girl From Rattlesnake

He was bitten three times protecting the girl

(Newser) - When a venomous Eastern diamondback rattlesnake appeared in the backyard of a 7-year-old Florida girl, her German shepherd came to her rescue, refusing to back down despite multiple snakebites, the AP reports. Molly DeLuca was playing Wednesday with her 2-year-old shepherd, named Haus, when the snake showed up. Haus jumped... More »

Hisss: Mass.' Rattlesnake Colony Is None Too Popular

Public skeptical of conservation effort for snakes whose numbers are down to 200

(Newser) - A state plan to establish a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island in Massachusetts' largest body of water has some rattled by visions of dangerous serpents slithering through woods, attacking humans. Those are completely irrational fears, said Tom French of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, who'... More »

Man Bit While Posing for Photos With Rattlesnake

Now his mom's trying to embarrass him into learning a lesson

(Newser) - A California woman is publicly shaming her 36-year-old son by sharing the embarrassing photos he took with a rattlesnake—right before it bit him—with local news stations. Deborah Gomez tells CBS Los Angeles she's trying to teach her son Alex a lesson. KTLA reports Alex Gomez found the... More »

Fungus Mysteriously Killing America's Rattlesnakes

Conservation efforts 'overwhelmed' by disease's spread

(Newser) - Though rattlesnakes once occupied much of the US, humans have shrunk their populations—and now an insidious fungal disease is doing further damage. Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola surfaced here roughly 10 years ago, and it has since been found in nine eastern states, reports the AP . The eastern massasauga rattlesnake in Illinois... More »

Rescuers Save Pair Trapped by Rattlesnake

Very, very slowly

(Newser) - A strange rescue in Nevada: Authorities guided two cousins around a rattlesnake and out of a mine shaft near Lake Mead after they reported being trapped inside by the snake. The cousins, ages 19 and 12, emerged unhurt after they were instructed to hug an opposite wall to move past... More »

Pregnant Woman Learns Rattlesnake Lesson

Don't try to suck the venom out

(Newser) - It's around that time of year in California when rattlesnake bites spike, and two stories are making headlines:
  • Don't suck the venom: In Folsom, a 4-year-old got bit on the foot when he stepped on a baby rattler while walking on a trail. His mom—who is 9
... More »

New Threat: Silent Rattlesnakes

South Dakota snakes appearing without rattling ability

(Newser) - It may be terrifying to hear a rattlesnake's signature sound—but, hey, at least it's giving you a heads-up. Now, hikers in South Dakota's Black Hills have to keep their eyes peeled for rattlesnakes that can't rattle, NPR reports. These snakes have curled tails like pigs... More »

'Serpent Pastor' Dies of Snake Bite

Mack Wolford believed faith compelled him to face the risk

(Newser) - A West Virginia Pentecostal pastor who used poisonous snakes during religious services has died of a rattlesnake bite. Mack Wolford, who just turned 44, was killed by a snake he had owned for years, reports the Washington Post. He was bitten during an outdoor service at a state park he... More »

Rattler Strikes Shopper at Fla. Wal-Mart

Man released after poisonous bite, which may have killed a child

(Newser) - A Florida man has been released from the hospital after being bitten in the hand by a poisonous pygmy rattlesnake while browsing in a Wal-Mart garden department, the Miami Herald reports. Though potentially deadly to a child or elderly person, the bite "wouldn't have been fatal with an adult... More »

Hot Mommas: Squirrels Use Heat to Scare off Snakes

Rattlers steer clear of hot pieces of tail

(Newser) - Squirrels aren't squirreling out of their ongoing battle with snakes, but they may be turning tail. California ground squirrels are able to intimidate rattlesnakes, researchers have found, by heating their tails 3 degrees; the rattlers perceive infrared waves, and back off. Even more surprising, the squirrels are savvy enough not... More »

11 Stories