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Rare Western rattlesnake slithers into Seattle

The Seattle Humane Soceity has given the rattlesnake to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which plans to release it back into the wild in Eastern Washington. (Photo: Seattle Animal Shelter)

An unwelcome visitor is heading back to Eastern Washington, after animal control officers captured a rattlesnake in North Seattle.

A woman came home Saturday to find the venomous 2-foot Western rattlesnake sunning itself on a rock in a front yard near North 120th Street and Fremont Avenue North and called animal control.

The Western rattlesnake is a rarity on our side of the mountains because it's too cool and wet to live here for long. Don Jordan, with the Seattle Animal Shelter, says the snake likely would have died if it hadn't been captured.

The snake could have been someone's pet, but "it's more likely than not the animal hitched a ride on a truck, a produce truck or what have you from Eastern Washington and ended up in somebody's yard," says Jordan.

While it's not the first rattler captured in the Seattle-area over the years, it's a lot more uncommon than larger snakes like boas and pythons.

"The message here is you never know what species of snake you may encounter here and children really need to take extra precaution when they're coming across any sort of snake," Jordan says.

The shelter has given the snake to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which plans to release it back into the wild in Eastern Washington.

"It's going to live out its natural life there and do whatever rattlesnakes do," Jordan says.

About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news.

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