No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

NYS DEC rattlesnake car battery

And to repeat: No. Nope. No. No. No. / photo: NYSDEC

Tucked in at the end of a state Department of Environmental Conservation digest of agency police officer encounters -- titled "Strange Rattle in the Engine - Delaware County":

On June 11, Lt. Nate Ver Hague and ECO Mark Vencak responded to a complaint of a rattlesnake resting on an engine block in the town of Hancock. 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. He backed away and saw a large rattlesnake resting in the center of the engine block. Disturbed, the snake slithered over to the battery and curled up there. The officers confirmed the snake was a timber rattlesnake seeking shelter. ECO Vencak carefully extracted the snake from the engine compartment as Lt. Ver Hague untangled the tail wrapped around part of the engine. The officers released the snake nearby, next to several large boulders - a much more snake-appropriate habitat.

Why did it have to be snakes.

Timber rattlesnakes are New York State's largest venomous snake -- here's the DEC fact sheet on them. ("Timber rattlers impress one as being very stocky..." Hey, no judgements.) And here's a somewhat old DEC map of their distribution around the state. Their populations are mainly clustered in the southeast part of the state from the southern Catskills to the state border, though there are also some populations near Lake George and Lake Champlain.

All freaking out aside, snakes are an important part of ecosystems, often acting as predators on rodent populations. And New York State is home to 17 species of them, according to an info page from SUNY ESF. Three of those species are venomous -- "All three are uncommon."

[via @GannettAlbany]

Comments

I don't think that's what's meant by "serpentine belt replacement".

That is pretty cool. It's not every day you get to see an eastern timber rattlesnake. Kudos to the officers for removing (!!) and releasing it.

I encountered a timber rattlesnake many years ago while hiking the Tongue Mountain Range on Lake George. Yeah, it kind of freaked me out, but at the same time, it was a privilege to see one... just not too close.

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