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Rattlesnake Report for 4-18-12

18 Apr

This is the first of an ongoing series of blogs I call the Rattlesnake Report.  In these special blog postings I will update you on the movements and status of the Timber Rattlesnakes Utsanati and Zoe that we are following with radio telemetry.  I have come up with a “potential danger level” scale that represents the potential danger the snakes could pose to the human inhabitants of the community due to their proximity to human habitations and activity areas.  The danger level also applies to the snakes being in danger if they are near a road or yard where they could be accidentally injured or killed by man and his machines.  If you live in the community where the snakes live please pay close attention to their locations and the “potential danger level” and take appropriate care in your activities to protect you and the snakes from any harm.  The scale will be as follows: Danger Level 1= No immediate danger.  The snake is in the rough.  Danger Level 5=High danger level.  The snake is very close to a residence/trail/road–walk, drive or mow carefully.  If you have questions about the snake’s locations please do not hesitate to contact me.

Utsanati has moved about 500 feet due west from his last location near his Hibernaculum.  I found him coiled in a resting coil with his body up against a rotting log.  He still does not appear to have shed.  It seems that he may be heading back toward his capture location.  Danger Level 1. Take a look at the latest photo of Utsanati below.

Zoe has also moved around 500 feet since he last locate day.  She has moved in a southeasterly direction and seems to be following the ridge line.  Danger Level 5!  I found her in a resting/hunting posture in a tangle of brush and cut logs at the edge of a yard behind a house in the human community where she lives.  Take a look at her below.

She was only about 30 feet from the yard as you can see in the second photo.   Interestingly this is the same house where Utsanati sheltered in the woodpile after his surgery last summer.  The woodpile is to the right of the house in the photo.

I believe that Zoe will stay in the woods and not cross the yard during daylight.  However, if you are the residents of this home I would use caution when walking/working in your yard –especially at night–until I locate her again and confirm her new location.  If you spot her please note her location and contact me as soon as possible so I can make note of her status.

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