Rattlesnake Roundup Protests

Animal rights activists have been trying to change the focus of the rattlesnake roundup for years. Stumbling upon an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake can cost you your life. They can bite through a pair of thick boots and their venom can kill within an hour, but finding one gets more and more difficult every year.

Animal rights activists say rattlesnake roundups are partly to blame for this. They especially protest hunters' method of drawing rattlers out of tortoise nests where they hide.

"A pipe or a hose is inserted in the hole and they blow some gas fumes into the hole, which makes the snake come out," says Chet Powell.

During rattlesnake roundups, many other animals are often injured. A baby gopher tortoise only a few months old would not survive fumes being pumped into its nest.

Organizers of the Whigham Rattlesnake Roundup say this event comes around only once a year, but other than that hunting is not encouraged.

"Basically we tell people to leave them alone. They're not going to hurt you, you don't have to kill every snake you see, they're going to go the opposite way," says resident Jeff Worsham.

Protestors say this year they're working with organizers to make sure the public knows the importance of rattlesnakes and the importance of keeping your distance from them. Rattlesnakes are very powerful. They can strike suddenly and have been known to dislocate people's jaws and other joints before they bite them.

It's important to note that there's no killing of rattlesnakes on the grounds whatsoever. Buyers can come after the roundup and take the snakes home for meat and hides.