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Meet Jewels Our Educational Rattlesnake
WildCare's rattlesnake. Photo by Tom O'Connell
My name is Jewels and I'm new to WildCare! Photo by Tom O'Connell

 

WildCare's rattlesnake. Photo by Tom O'Connell
I'm a young Northern Pacific Rattlesnake and I now live in WildCare's museum. Photo by Tom O'Connell
WildCare's rattlesnake. Photo by Tom O'Connell
You talking to me? Photo by Tom O'Connell
WildCare's rattlesnake. Photo by Tom O'Connell
I'm not very big, but I still have a rattle... and venom too. Photo by Tom O'Connell

WildCare's newest educational animal, a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake just received his new name!

Meet Jewels, named for the gorgeous rattles that adorn his tail, for the diamond pattern on his back and also in honor of our beloved staff member and friend Julie Malet who passed away in 2008. Julie would have been delighted that WildCare now has an educational rattlesnake named in her honor. 

What better educational animal than one so misunderstood. You can meet him in person at WildCare (click for directions).

Our Rattlesnake's Story

Would a rattlesnake make a good pet? Most of us would agree not, but someone found this young snake and set him up in a cage in their home. California's Fish and Game Department found out about him, and confiscated him to protect both people and snake.

Captive reptiles may be exposed to diseases that can be deadly to their wild relatives, so most captured reptiles can't be returned to their wild homes. Unfortunately this is the case with our rattlesnake and he will live out his life in captivity. Fortunately in his role as a Wildlife Ambassador at WildCare he'll be able to teach visitors about rattlesnakes (and the reasons wild animals don't make good pets!) and help other snakes in the process.

Fun rattlesnake facts:

bird print bullet point Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes have small territories and help keep rodent populations under control.
bird print bullet point Rattlesnakes eat birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, and small mammals, including mice, rats, rabbits, hares, and young ground squirrels.
bird print bullet point Adult California Ground Squirrels are immune to rattlesnake venom and will intensely confront any snake they feel to be a threat.
bird print bullet point Opossums are immune to rattlesnake venom too.
bird print bullet point Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes find prey while hunting, or sometimes ambush. The snake will wait near lizard or rodent trails, strike at and then release passing prey. The snake then follows the trail of the envenomated animal and swallows it whole.
bird print bullet point

Rattlesnakes are one of the few vipers that have a warning system-- those eponymous rattles-- and for these snakes as with other venomous animals, biting is the absolutely last resort when threatened.

bird print bullet point When hiking, be sure to always step up onto a rock or log in your path rather than stepping directly over it. This will prevent possibly surprising a resting rattlesnake on the far side of the obstacle.
bird print bullet point

If bitten by a rattlesnake, get medical attention immediately. Increased heart rate can cause the venom to spread more quickly, so stay calm.

   
   
   
   

We encourage you to get to know more about rattlesnakes, and come meet Jewels in the WildCare museum!

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