BRASSTOWN BALD, Ga. – A large timber rattlesnake was spotted on the summit trail, leading to the peak of Brasstown Bald, Tuesday, July 9. The snake sighting is one of many reported this season in the Towns County area.
“Although it may be frightening to see a rattlesnake at such close range, remember these rattlesnakes are NOT aggressive, but will strike to defend themselves if disturbed,” Brasstown Bald staff wrote on social media. “Please give them distance and respect. They are important members of the natural community.”
Timber rattlesnake populations are on the decline. They are threatened or endangered in many states, at least partially due to people killing them out of fear. The rattlesnakes are one of the most common venemous snakes in North America. The reptiles belong to the genus Crotalus, which contains most other rattlesnakes, including prairie rattlesnakes and diamondback rattlesnakes. Timber rattlesnakes are sometimes called canebrake rattlesnakes or banded rattlesnakes. Found across most of the central and eastern United States, timber rattlesnakes occupy a diverse range of habitats. They can be found as far north as New York and Minnesota, and as far south as Texas and Florida.
Their nickname stems from their preference for living in forests and wooded areas, though they can be found anywhere with ample vegetation and a range of prey to choose from. Like all rattlesnakes, timber rattlers are venomous. They possess long fangs which they use for injecting venom into their prey. The venom toxicity is comparable to other rattlesnakes, and poses a significant risk to humans. Fortunately, it doesn’t typically result in death, as long as medical intervention is quickly sought.
Feature Photo Credit: Brasstown Bald