North Seattle residents scared of snakes might want to stop reading here.
Still there? All right, don’t say you weren’t warned.
A Western rattlesnake was captured Saturday near North 120th Street and Fremont Avenue North by a Seattle Animal Shelter officer. Someone had reported seeing the 2-foot-long venomous reptile sunning itself on a rock wall.
The officer safely captured the slithering interloper and transported it to the Seattle shelter while arrangements were made to return the snake to its natural habitat: Eastern Washington.
The Western rattlesnake is not native to to Western Washington because it’s too cool and wet on this side of the mountains. The snake’s capture likely saved it’s life, as it would not survived for long.
Authorities are not sure how the rattler ended up in North Seattle as rattlesnakes are classified as exotic animals by Seattle Municipal Code and are thus illegal in city limits.
Apparently the snake hasn’t read the code.
According to the Seattle Animal Shelter, all venomous reptiles and amphibians, regardless of whether the venom glands have been removed, and all snakes that are 8 feet or longer are defined as exotic animals and not allowed in Seattle.
On Wednesday, the shelter worked with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and a state-licensed wildlife-control operator and returned the snake to Eastern Washington.
“This is a perfect example of why people should take extra precaution when approaching any snake,” said Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan. “You just never know what species may be encountered in Western Washington. Parents really need to instill this message with their children.”
For more information on rattlesnakes and other wildlife, go to the Department of Fish and Wildlife webpage “Living with Wildlife.”