PHOTO: Plump Rattlesnake on Family’s Porch Becomes the Butt of Jokes

by Alex Falls

There are few things scarier than running across a rattlesnake. Especially the western diamondback rattlesnake, the highly venomous native to the southwestern United States. The snake is responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in the U.S. But a viral photo is making the rounds showing a lethargic rattler recovering after a big meal. The usually intimidating reptile in the photo is taking a ribbing online.

The photo was shared by Bryan Hughes of Pheonix, Arizona. He owns Rattlesnake Solutions, a rattlesnake removal service. His photo shows the snake resting on the front porch of a home in an apparent food coma. The snake’s midsection was nearly triple its normal size.

Derek Carlson took the photo. He works for Rattlesnake Solutions and was summoned to remove the snake from the front porch of the west Tuscon home. The viral photo gained enough steam on social media for Carlson’s local news to ask for a statement.

“When I saw it, I laughed a bit at how large the bulge was,” Carlson said. “I am always very careful when handling a snake that has recently eaten. With too much stress they will regurgitate the meal, which I definitely wouldn’t want to happen.”

The snake was 3.5 feet long, which Carlson said was “a good size adult rattlesnake.” The average rattlesnake in Arizona is 3 to 5 feet long.

“Fortunately, this one did not throw it up,” Carlson said. What the snake ate to give it such a belly bulge remains a mystery. Carlson guessed it was “a large pack rat or a rabbit.”

Some comments speculate the snake was pregnant. But Carlson says there’s a difference between a baby bump and a full belly. He eventually took the snake and released it into a nearby canyon.

Another Snake in the News

Earlier this week, another snake went viral in much more dramatic fashion. A family in England were forced to fend off a huge Burmese python that got on their roof and attempted to enter the house through a second-story window. The family used a broom to knock the snake out from entering their home. It’s estimated the reptile was as long as 18 feet.

The drama was captured by a nearby local of Southampton in a series of photographs. Pythons are not native to England. So how the huge snake got into the area remains a mystery.

“I saw something on the roof and thought it must be a plastic tube. But then its head started moving. I told my husband, Steven, but he said, ‘Don’t be silly,’” Jenny Warwick told British media.

“I asked a neighbor outside if they could see something on the roof,” Warwick added. “Because I didn’t have my glasses and I wasn’t sure if I was seeing things.”

Once they realized it was “definitely a snake,” they noticed that the creature was “trying to find a way to get down.” Warwick’s husband can’t stand snakes, so he “couldn’t get to work fast enough.”

“It’s not what you want to see first thing in the morning. I think it’s very irresponsible to let it loose,” Warwick said of the snake’s owner.