GLASTONBURY — The life of an animal control officer is unpredictable as proven by a recent incident in which Glastonbury’s animal control officer had to relocate two timber rattlesnakes from the back yard of a Mountainview Road residence.
According to a post on the Glastonbury Police Department Facebook page, the timber rattlesnake is one of only two venomous species in Connecticut, and is protected by the Connecticut Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to kill or collect them. But it is not illegally to shoot video of the slithering snakes and post it online, which is what the police did.
The timber rattlesnake is now found in only 27 states, according to the state Department of Energy and Enivronmental Protection web site.
Rattlesnakes are, not surprisingly, typically identified by the segmented rattle at the tip of their tails. But they have other distinguishing characteristics, includig vertical eye pupils; large heat-sensing pits between the eyes and nostrils (known as pit organs); a flattened, unmarked, triangular head about twice the size of the neck; and keeled scales (raised ridge in the center of each scale, making the skin appear rough).
The snake can grow to between 36 and 54 inches. Timber rattlesnakes that occur in Connecticut usually have black or brown crossbands on a yellow, brown, or gray background.
Police said those who encounter a timber rattlesnake should calmly and slowly back away from it, and allow the snake to go on its way.