Rattlesnake spotted at Normandy campsite

Folks visiting the Cedar Point Camping area in Normandy recently spotted a rattle snake. {Photo courtesy of Tara Mestrez via the Tennessee Snake Identification Page on Facebook}

NORMANDY — As COVID-19 numbers spike, more and more Moore Countians head outdoors for a little summer, socially-distanced fun. But if you camp near Cedar Point in Normandy be aware that campers have spotted large rattlesnakes in the area.

According to Tennessee wildlife officials, Timber Rattlesnakes are the largest and most venomous of the four venomous snakes found in our state including Timber Rattlesnakes, Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Cottonmouths. Timber rattlers can grow up to six feet long and can be spotted easily by their large, triangular head, vertical pupils, and the characteristic rattle at the end of the tail.   

Colors vary greatly. Some Timber Rattlesnakes appear grey and light tan while others can look yellow and dark brown. According to wildlife officials, they prefer mature, heavily wooded forests with rocky, south-facing hillsides; often associated with bluffs or ledges.   They can also be found around mountains, swamps, cane thickets, wooded stream corridors, and rural habitats.   It is common to see Timber Rattlesnakes coiled near fallen logs or sunning on rocks.

According to TWRA officials, the rattle, which is used to warn predators, is tan or gray in color and consists of hollow, interlocking segments made of keratin. Newborn rattlesnakes have a single segment on its rattle, called a “button.” Each time the snake sheds a new segment is added to the base of the rattle. Shedding is variable and rattles break off, so counting the segments is not an accurate way to determine the age.

The snakes, even young ones, are extremely dangerous and contact should be avoided. However, wildlife officials remind locals that it is illegal to kill a Timber Rattlesnake unless it is a direct threat to you, your family, or your animals.

If you or someone in your party is bitten by a rattlesnake, you need to get to the closest hospital as soon as possible for a dose of antivenom. There is no on-the-scene intervention that is helpful.

For more information about Timber Rattlesnakes in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Leave a Reply