Rattlesnakes aren’t known for inducing laughs, but one found itself in a comical situation when it was discovered dangling over the edge of a backyard pool with its front end riding a pool chlorine floater.
Video of the strange sight was shared on Facebook by Rattlesnake Solutions, an Arizona-based reptile removal service, and it shows the western diamondback rattlesnake was being playful.
“What are you doing you weirdo?” snake wrangler Marissa Maki is heard asking in the video. “That is so cool.”
The incident happened at a home in Scottsdale May 9 when the 3-foot western diamondback tried using the home’s swimming pool to get a drink.
That was an odd sight, Maki said, but things went to a whole new level of strange when the viper mastered using the floater to scan the pool.
“Yeah that wasn’t typical,” she told McClatchy News. “I just thought that was hilarious. ... I’ve seen videos of rattlesnakes swimming and just find it funny, so when it flipped in the pool, I was pretty excited to witness it first hand.”
Catching a rattlesnake in a swimming pool is clearly more challenging, but Maki took the safe approach: She waited for it to get tired.
“I knew it would come towards the edge eventually and I’d be able to grab it,” she said. “I was wondering if it would be able (to get out), but it was pretty large so I figured it could.”
It wasn’t easy, the video shows. After finding itself stuck halfway out the pool, the snake resorted to pressing its tail against the side of the pool to boost its midsection out of the water.
Maki was able to grab the snake seconds later with a pair of tongs, and it neither lunged nor rattled at her. It was then taken to a pack rat nest in the desert and released.
Western diamondbacks are native to Arizona, averaging 3 to 5 feet in length and living up to over 20 years, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Rattlesnake Solutions owner Bryan Hughes says it can be shocking for homeowners and boaters to realize rattlesnakes are good swimmers, but it doesn’t make the venomous snakes more dangerous.
“Every year there are a handful of sightings of rattlesnakes and others swimming across lakes as summer kicks in,” he told McClatchy news.
“This is normal. To someone who doesn’t know better, it could look like the snake is chasing or attacking the boat, but of course this isn’t what they’re doing.”