GIANT RATTLESNAKES EAT DOGS
Barbara "BJ" Andrews, TheDogPress 03|20|11
This subdivision snake could swallow a large dog and no doubt has! Weighing as much as a Bullmastiff, the monster snake lives in a smorgasbord of delectable pets.
Dogs are a favorite delicacy for alligators and toy breeds are easy prey for venomous snakes that soak up sun along pathways through palmetto scrub and tall grasses. The "Florida Rattler" is not an aggressive snake. In fact, it uses those rattlers to warn away anything perceived as dangerous or inedible. When on the hunt for a meal, the rattlesnake lays still and quiet or slithers silently along following a living scent.
This rattlesnake's size was debunked by a certain website on the grounds that the photos were "out of perspective" and thus exaggerated the snake's size. Perhaps. It is more likely the developer convinced the website of that possibility... This reporter was "born and raised a Cracker" and I can assure readers that native Floridians would not debunk the story or the size.
Florida is famous for growing unusual creatures, some of which seem to have not only adapted but benefitted from the population explosion of the last three decades. Where once there was only swamp or palmetto hillocks, new homes surround shopping "centers" and wildlife has learned to adapt.
Humans are careless with food scraps. Raccoons and other four-legged scavengers join the buzzards and crows along Florida roads, thriving on tossed garbage. Those are the visible critters gleaning a living from human encroachment and certainly a 'gator in the yard makes news. But snakes are furtive and my guess is this well fed rattler has thrived on more than food scraps.
No matter where you live, watch your children and FENCE YOUR DOGS. Wood, wire, or chain link, the spacing should be such that large snakes can't get in. A normal sized snake can swallow a rabbit. That is about the size of your toy breed dog. Of course the snake can't get back out through the fence after eating but it will nap under the house or in some sheltered part of the yard until the meal digests. It may stay in your private space or move on to a neighbor's yard. Not to worry you - just to make you aware. A resident 'gator has no fear and is therefore visible but a snake is rarely seen.
By the way, the King snake is protected but comes by his name rightly. The King snake kills rattlers. My mother narrowly escaped being bitten when she inadvertently disturbed a nest of coral snakes in her garden. After that, my father kept a King snake under the house throughout my childhood. I remember one "show and tell" ... but that's another snake story.
One more word of caution. Snakes like warm sandy soil such as is found under swing sets and other outdoor fixtures, including your Bar-B-Q. Watch where you reach if you have a built-in outdoor grill.
The rest of this came via email and we are unable to give credit to the photographer or the person who first posted this. That is why we never use "pass-arounds" but the message here is vitally important to all dog owners - and parents. Our gratitude to whoever took the photo and to the reported below. Please let us hear from you!
THIS IS NOT A PYTHON! This is a 15 foot Eastern Diamondback
rattlesnake, in fact the largest ever caught on record. This snake was
found Near the St. Augustine outlet, in a new KB homes subdivision just
south of Jacksonville FL.
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