It’s probably the last thing you want to hear while walking through the woods this summer…the threatening sound of a rattlesnakes tail warning all of it’s dangerous presence.
But that’s exactly what one man heard upon making this terrifying discovery near the river behind the soccer fields off Route 352 in Big Flats. We went to check the nest out for ourselves but didn’t dare venture too far into the woods. We did however find someone a few miles up the road who just last year found themselves face-to-face with a rattlesnake.
“When people tell you there are Timber Rattlesnakes around, your not like oh well we’re probably gonna see one in our yard. So it was a really jarring reality to come to grips with,” Beth Thetga said.
Fearing for their young daughter’s life, Beth and her husband even considered moving out of their new home.
“It was a little like earth shattering. We thought we had this perfect little house in this perfect little spot and then it’s like well we can’t live here we can’t raise our daughter in a place where we’re constantly going to have to be fearful of some venomous snake lurking in some tall weeds,” Thetga said.
A local New York State licensed rattlesnake expert who works closely with Tanglewood Nature Center made a house call and was able to relocate the snake and educate the family about how to deal with them in the future.
“The best thing you can do if you do you encounter a rattlesnake is make sure you’re keeping your space and that you’re respecting their space. They are threatened so it is illegal to harm them in anyway, don’t touch them,” Tanglewood Employee Brie Riesbeck said.
Employees at Tanglewood say there’s a rattlesnake den just off their property and because they’re cold blooded, you’re more likely to see them this time of year than any other.
Experts say to beware of a triangle head, black body, and of course that distinct rattle.
“Just make sure you watch where you step, definitely check under rocks you’re about to sit on, it’s important and just be mindful that you are in the woods. This is their area, not yours and so if you’re going where you’re not supposed to there are chances that you were going to find a rattlesnake so just be careful,” Riesbeck said.
It takes about 1 hour before a rattlesnakes poison starts to set in. If you’re bitten, you should call 911 immediately and get to the nearest hospital.