A Hudson Valley man learned why all New Yorkers should not kill a rattlesnake.

On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced an Orange County resident was ticketed for killing a rattlesnake.

Orange County, New York Man Ticketed For Chopping Up Rattlesnake


In July, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Law Enforcement in Orange County received a tip from the Town Woodbury Police Department about a rattlesnake that was found dead in a driveway of a home in the Central Valley, New York area.

The DEC was told the rattlesnake was found with its head cut off and rattle missing.

Arriving environmental conservation police officers found the snake with its head cut off and rattle missing, according to the DEC. Officers interviewed a number of people before finding the main suspect who admitted to killing the snake because he was afraid of the snake.

Orange County, New York Resident Rattled By Rattlesnake


"The man admitted to killing the snake by chopping its head off and said he did it because he had never seen a rattlesnake and was afraid. The Officers educated the man on the important role of timber rattlesnakes in the ecosystem and informed him the snakes are protected under State Environmental Conservation Law," the DEC said in a press release.

The unnamed man was given two tickets for the illegal taking and possession of a protected species. The DEC believes this is a good time to remind New Yorkers that rattlesnakes typically don't attack people unless the snake is scared or provoked.

"ECOs remind New Yorkers that rattlesnakes do not typically attack people unless threatened or provoked and advise people not to panic, keep a safe distance of six feet or more, and let the snake move along on its own," the DEC said.

Timber Rattlesnakes Protected Species in New York


Timber rattlesnakes are a protected species in New York. In 1983, timber rattlesnakes were designated as a threatened species in New York State.

"Collecting timber rattlesnakes from the wild is now prohibited by law under Environmental Conservation Law 11-0535 and 11-0103(2)(c). However, poachers are still actively supplying the black market pet trade," the DEC adds.

If you see a rattlesnake, the DEC advises you to not panic and not to kill the snake. You're told to keep a safe distance, 6 feet or more, and let the snake move away for you on its own.

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Rattlesnake Venmon Can be Fatal

Snake-Timber rattlesnake
John Pitcher

A rattlesnake primarily uses its venom to immobilize its prey. The venom can be fatal to humans if left untreated.

"However, in New York, there have been no records of human deaths attributed to rattlesnakes in the wild during the last several decades. Less than 15% of the snake bites reported over a ten-year period were actually from a venomous snake. Contrary to popular opinion, a rattlesnake will not pursue or attack a person unless threatened or provoked. Such instances are likely a result of the observer being between the snake and its point of cover," the DEC said.

Seek medical attention immediately or call 911 if you are bitten by a rattlesnake.

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