The Center for Snake Conservation has designated Fridays as Rattlesnake Friday, a day to promote the welfare of rattlesnakes by dispelling a common snake myth, and talking to others about the amazing ecology and natural history of rattlesnakes (for example). It’s part of their overall mission to promote snake conservation through education, which is very important to us at SocialSnakes.
At Muleshoe, pretty much everyday is Rattlesnake Friday – they are the most common snakes we see, so it’s a treat for us to see any other kind of snake (though we LOVE our rattlesnakes :-)).
As happened on another recent Rattlesnake Friday, yesterday was ruled by colubrids (large group of mostly harmless snakes) and we didn’t see a single rattlesnake! We saw three western patch-nosed snakes (Salvadora hexalepis): an adult, a juvenile, and this one with a very large wound.
Looks pretty awful, right? We actually saw this snake cruising around our back a few days ago, so he appears to be getting along fine despite the injury (he’s very plump and healthy looking too). We released him without messing with the wound too much.
The real treat of the day, at least for me, was a HUGE female gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer), who kindly demonstrated her species’ ability to hiss loudly for our guests.
Despite all her bluffing, she never bit anyone. Typical gophersnake; they are awesome!
Thanks to Jeff for the photos 🙂