HomeOutdoorsNewsHusband & Wife Snake-Wrangling Duo Remove Two Huge Rattlesnakes from Florida Yard

Husband & Wife Snake-Wrangling Duo Remove Two Huge Rattlesnakes from Florida Yard

by Caitlin Berard
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
(Photo by pitchwayz via Getty Images)

One sunny Monday morning, a Florida homeowner stepped out onto their lawn, took a look around, and immediately ran back inside. Beneath a bush near their front door was a pair of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, one of them with a rabbit-sized bulge in its belly.

Rather than reach for a spade or an axe, the homeowner did what every reptile wrangler hopes for and reached for the phone instead. Taylor and Rhett Stanberry, a married snake wrangler duo based in South Florida, received the assignment, and the homeowner waited patiently for their arrival.

Pulling into the driveway, the Stanberrys immediately recognized the massive snakes as eastern diamondbacks, the male and female rattlesnakes relaxing in the shade of the shrubbery.

“She’s got a big meal in her tummy,” Rhett Stanberry said in a video of the rattlesnake rescue while children screamed at the sight of the giant snake out of frame. “She’s probably got a rabbit in her stomach. That’s a nice one. Look at this! This is a big old female, nice.”

The homeowner initially called a different animal rescue service in the area, but this mission called for specialized licenses. Specifically, those to catch venomous snakes.

Luckily, the ill-equipped service knew Rhett and Taylor Stanberry would be up for the job. An exceedingly common snake in Florida, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found in every county of the Sunshine State, giving the Stanberrys plenty of experience in wrangling the 6-foot reptiles.

“He was very surprised, and he was just happy that we could get there and catch the snakes,” Rhett said of the homeowner. “Even though he was nervous, he was still like, ‘They’re really beautiful, and they’re really cool. We’re so glad you could help us out.'”

Snake Wranglers Recommend Seeking Help Instead of Killing Unwanted Rattlesnakes

Though many consider rattlesnakes a terrifying sight to behold, rattlers aren’t at all aggressive. In fact, they’ll avoid contact with people and pets whenever possible. Rattlesnake bites do occur, but almost exclusively as a result of the snake being stepped on or harassed.

For many homeowners, the first instinct when spotting a venomous snake is to kill it. The Stanberrys, as well as other reptile experts, however, urge the public to take another, less violent route. “The most we could ask is, you don’t have to like snakes or want them in your yard. Just respect them and call someone like us to come and move them for you,” Taylor Stanberry said. “You don’t need to kill them.”

Rattlesnakes and other such reptiles are crucial to the ecosystem in that they control the rodent population. Without rattlers, Florida would be overrun with mice, rats, and other small mammals.

According to the Stanberrys, this particular pair of rattlesnakes was actually a mated pair. The female likely found her way into the homeowner’s yard in search of a meal and was followed by the male hoping for a mate.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to see 3 pairs of “mating/courted” diamondback in the last 12 months,” Rhett Stanberry explained. “The pheromones must be strong on the female [diamondback]. This property did not back up to the woods. This house is across the street from the property that backs up to the woods. So this male followed the female across the street to a house.”