Seattle Animal Shelter officers received reports of a 2-foot-long snake sunning itself on a rock wall Saturday afternoon near the intersection of North 120th Street and Fremont Avenue North. When animal animal enforcement officers arrived to the scene, they found a large Western Rattlesnake.
The snake — which is classified as an exotic animal by the Seattle Municipal Code — is not allowed as a pet or otherwise in Seattle city limits. It was removed by enforcement officers and transported to Eastern Washington; its native habitat.
Officials said it was unknown how the snake ended up in wet Western Washington — which features a climate unsuitable for rattlesnakes — but it was likely someone’s illegal pet.
Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan said the unlikely rattlesnake find is a perfect example of why city-dwellers should approach animals with caution.
“You just never know what species may be encountered in Western Washington,” Jordan said. “Parents really need to instill this message with their children.”
The animal shelter offered these precautions when nearing or entering habitat where venomous snakes are believed to live.
- Stick to well-used, open trails. In brushy areas, use a walking stick to alert a snake of your approach.
- Avoid walking through thick brush and willow thickets.
- Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see.
- Wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants.
- Watch rattlesnakes from a distance, and be aware of defensive behaviors, such as coiling and tail-rattling, that let you know you are too close.
If you happen to encounter a rattlesnake, move away from it slowly – a rattlesnake will coil into a defensive posture if it cannot escape.