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[RC] Snakes - k s swigart

Esther said:

In all that time, I've seen 3 (maybe 4) rattlesnakes. 
None of them were aggressive; maybe they had just
?eaten or were just plain lazy, but I'm sure glad they
?decided to be passive on those particular days.

Not particularly surprising, rattlesnakes are very timid snakes, and almost 
always will sound off a warning before striking.? You want to get bit by a 
rattlesnake you either have to startle it so completely that it doesn't even 
have time to warn you (although usually they will warn you even if you step on 
them....which I have done), or you have to provoke it.

The majority of rattlesnake bites in humans (of which there are few) are 
"interactive, among young adult males, and usually there is some alcohol 
involved" (i.e. drunk boys playing with the snake).

The majority of rattlesnake bites in horses is a horse that is curious about 
the rattling (since the horse doesn't know that it is a threat) and sticks its 
nose down there to investigate.

I had a friend in high school who kinda lived out in the sticks and the 
rattlesnakes would routinely sun themselves on his front porch.? If you stomped 
your feet as you came up the stairs, most of them would meander off.? If not, 
and there was one in your way, you could nudge it with your foot, and then it 
would slither away.

Rattlesnakes, as poisonous snakes go, are pretty harmless.? And personally, I 
have never had a horse that paid any attention to them at all.

Didn't keep me from killing them though when they set up residence in the hay 
barn or under the water troughs.? Rattlesnakes are territorial and they won't 
permanently leave on their own (especially not a hay barn, where there is an 
abundant supply of food).

Orange County, Calif.

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