A man in southern Sebastian County, Arkansas may have killed one of the largest western diamondback rattlesnakes ever seen after it allegedly attacked several of his dogs. According to the man, who remains unidentified, the snake was found on his property in West Hartford and bit at least two of his dogs, killing one. He dispatched it afterwards and the pictures of the snake were widely shared on social media.

Judging from the photograph, experts estimated the diamondback at around eight feet in length, which if accurate would make it the largest western diamondback in the world.

“Normally [they’re] around four or five feet, depending on what type it is,” pet store owner Dan Jones told 5 News.

You can watch an interview with Jones below:

Western diamondbacks over six feet in length are rare and only one reliable specimen has been found to be over seven feet. According to the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center at the University of Texas, that snake was captured in Cedar Hill, Texas and measured 92 inches overall. It is commonly believed that western Texas has some of the largest western diamondbacks. Further to the south, the diamondback holds a fearsome reputation as the single most dangerous snake—in terms of human fatalities—in Mexico. Part of this is due to the snake’s aggressiveness. Western diamondbacks are one of the few rattlesnakes that will stand their ground when threatened and if the rattling fails to discourage its foe, the snake will strike. Their venom carries a 10 to 20 percent fatality rate if untreated.

Despite the threat these creatures pose, it is illegal to kill a rattlesnake in most states unless you are in immediate danger. Experts say that venomous snakes are useful in cutting down on local rodent populations, which without predators could grow quickly out of control.

It is currently unknown if wildlife officials are investigating the snake’s death.

 

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  • Jayd

    I can believe that this is being reported on a site like the outdoor hub. As a career herpetologist myself, I would love to hear the ” experts” named so I can see who suggested this snake to be a world record. The photos of this snake I nothing more than an example of forced perspective. Simply placing the animal in front of you to make it look larger. Considering the fact that I work daily with over 200 examples of this species, with many of the animals being in their 30’s, don’t you think that those of us keeping them in captivity could get them to this size if they were capable of growing that big? They don’t and they can’t.

    As far as the “attack”, rattlesnakes do not attack. If dogs circled and cornered on then yes, they would defensively bite. But they do not pursue and attack.

    Just my two cents as an individual in the professional field of venomous snakes. I hope that I can educate some of you that have been led astray by websites like this.

  • I too would like the name of the party and the expert. I have hunted these beasts all my life and I have seen toos like this with no certification. There is a zoo looking to pay top dollar for a prime specimen and yet no one has claimed it. I fully agree with the statement by Jayd. Get real folks and provide proof by a certified professional or shut up,

  • JJ

    Jayd is spot on. This is not news, it’s fallacy, and it is very disappointing that Outdoor Hub would run with it without any real discretion. “Experts estimate”? Why not identify the experts that estimated this WORLD RECORD rattlesnake if this is truly based on any legitimate evidence or analyses? The only interviewed person recognized in this article is a pet store owner. Next time are we going to get a pawn store owner chiming in on the trajectory of intercontinental ballistic missiles (they sell guns so they are munitions experts, right)? As Jayd said, the photo is classic forced perspective – I’d be surprised if the snake is more than 5′ long. Why not put it next to a measuring tape if it is truly record worthy, after all it is dead and safely capable of being stretched out that way? I’ll answer my own question – Because doing so would allow facts get in the way of a BS, sensational story. Boo, hiss, Outdoor Hub – disappointed in you.

  • chris h

    I don’t believe the guys statement that it attacked 2 of his dogs. Dogs are usually wary of animals like snakes and have a better understanding than humans if another animal is dangerous or not. If they did get bitten then where’s the proof?

    • Mike

      When I was about nine years old I ran into a massive eastern diamondback in the oak forest behind our house in Florida. My hound dog Razor barked at the snake, but he kept his distance. Of all the sounds I’ve heard in my life, that rattle was the most terrifying.

  • Mats

    The second pic is alternated its not the same head as to the body.
    Its a completly different snake made to a montage.
    Look at the angle of the head compared to the neck.
    Also the head is from a EDB rattlesnake Crotalus adamanteus.

  • Dan

    The forced perspective shot is widely used but the picture of the head/fangs is not a forced perspective. From this photo it looks like it’s mouth is opened to at least 8″ so to the experts does a six ft rattlesnake have a mouth this size?

  • Enough! Shame on Outdoor Hub for putting this nonsense online.

  • Michael

    Daniel Xu, you are a HORRIBLE journalist. This tops the list of crap articles I’ve read in a while. Go back to The Onion or from wherever you came

  • MBR

    Great, more Ophiophobia. What ‘experts’ were consulted regarding this photo? Names and credentials would be nice since you portray this as ‘news’. I also work with these animals on a daily basis and I’m constantly amazed how often stories like this get published. The only part missing was that it weighed 80lbs! I’ve seen this exact photo for Eastern Diamondbacks, Westerns (like this), Timber Rattlesnakes, etc, etc. Same forced-perspective shot, same BS story about it being a ‘world record’. Very disappointing.

  • Rodger Tucker

    Ladies & Gentleman please, there are two sides to every story are there not ? It appears to be a very large snake when you look at the picture where holding its head.The snake is being held aprox middle of its length by a hook (about 1/2 of its length) and it is still stretching from the guys upper chest to his ankles.and that is only about 1/2 of it. The close up of the head is the size of his fist ! C’MON.

  • Mark

    Outdoor Bub is an advertisement, they publish whatever they think people will click on. They love it even more when they get the extra web traffic from a discussion like this.

  • The snake is obviously as large as the article claims. Most of you who replied are obviously snake lovers who place snake welfare and research over human life. Personally I would kill every snake I encountered

    • I’m w/ you Grant…I was a forester for 38 years, I’ve seen my share of snakes….and ticks, chiggers and skeeters….God’s creatures all I’m sure, but still a bane on the outdoorsman. It’s still the snake that tops my list as being the one that can cause the most immediate trouble for the woodsman…In fact there’s 3 types of snakes I’m not crazy about….a live one, a dead one, and a stick that looks like one…..

  • In 1983, I killed a canebrake rattlesnake that measured 84″ just south of Trinity Texas. It’s stomach contained 6 baby cottontail rabbits.

  • Greg

    Seeing a dead snake like this should make people sad. First off, This Moron that killed it wasnt protecting his Dogs. A simple Fact, The snake wasn’t attacking his Dogs, it was simply protecting itself from the dogs Harassing it. A snake dose not seek put dogs or people to bite, at least a rattlesnake. Second this was a protected species and he should have gathered his dogs and moved them to a safe spot. IF this Dumb man and i mean Dumb as the “day is long: kinda dumb , had kept what little wit he had, he could have captured the snake and probably sold it or donated it and make Major Bank off it. A Collector or Serum facility would have paid Thousands of dollars for it. I pity the snake and feel sorry for a Retarded imbecile a website that shows this

    • Ziggs

      Depending on the size of the dogs… that snake could eat them…. if you count chihuahuas as dogs that is.

    • Flybob

      And we should al have pet wolves……WTF is wrong with people??? You don’t need to go looking for snakes to kill but when they get in your area you take them out. Or should we put black widows in our window sills to keep out flies….oh wait…those poor flies! braindead

  • Drew

    fake. he’s using forced perspective to make it look bigger than it really is. it’s a good way to get attention and shock value and to make people afraid of them. the only thing that diomondback is a “killer” of is rodents and other such disease spreading and crop destroying animals. that guy is the only killer in the picture and it’s a shame: while not 8 feet, that is a beautiful specimen

    http://www.livingalongsidewildlife.com/2009/07/return-of-giant-killed-rattlesnake.html

  • ZZTX

    This is NOT a western diamondback. It is an eastern diamondback.

    • Ken F.

      This is a western diamondback. Eastern species are not found hre where we live. It’s OK, you just know what you are talkinng about.

  • Lb

    I just caught a five foot rattlesnake here in Georgetown Texas