A New York man was trying to jump-start his engine, but a timber rattlesnake had other ideas.
If you’ve ever had a dead battery, you can certainly understand the frustration of having to pop the hood, get the jumper cables out, and pull up your other car.
Well, a rural New York man got the surprise of his life when he tried to jump-start his car recently and found a live timber rattlesnake waiting for him on the engine block.
Since the eastern timber rattlesnake is a dangerous, venomous snake, instinct tells us to back off. Enter Lt. Nate Ver Hague and ECO Mark Vencak of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to take stock of the whole affair.
After receiving a call on June 11, the two officers arrived in Hancock near the Pennsylvania border just north of New York City
“The complainant told them that he had opened the hood of his car to jump start the vehicle and heard the distinctive rattle of a snake,” one officer said. “He backed away and saw a large rattlesnake resting in the center of the engine block.”
It must’ve been a shock for everyone involved to see the dark-brown pit viper laying there in all its glory. But it’d be just another day in the life for these two officers who’ve certainly seen plenty of amphibians and reptiles in their careers.
ECO Vencak cautiously removed the reptile from the engine as Lt. Ver Hague carefully unwrapped its tail. It was then prudently placed next to a pile of boulders where it could find its way back into the rock crevices that timber rattlers prefer.
The timber rattlesnake is a North American native species of the eastern United States and the largest venomous snake in New York. They’re generally found in deciduous forests, making their den sites in rocky outcroppings and downed timber.
Their conservation status is questioned, as timber rattlesnake populations are listed by the IUCN as threatened due to habitat loss, habitat destruction, human disturbance and even a bounty placed on them before 1971.
Cover photo via NYSDEC
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