Timber Rattlesnakes invade some Winona backyards

In the last two days, Winona Resident Julie Boelter has seen four timber rattlesnakes hiding in her backyard.

“I have lived here for 22 years and I only saw one other timber rattler. We see a lot of creatures out here, but I really don’t want to see snakes really badly.”

So far, the snakes haven’t done any damage, outside of scaring the homeowner.

“I hope I don’t see anymore again.”

The Minnesota DNR has made several stops to her home, and told Julie what they believe is inviting the reptiles.

“If a snake closed his eyes and looked for the perfect environment, he would look right at this because of the wood and dirt that’s under the wood, so I won’t be having this anymore,” explained Boelter.

Cool, shaded places like firewood can draw them in.

“Their body temperature is regulated by the outside temperature, so they can’t cool themselves off like humans can, so they have to physically move their body to a cooler area to cool off,” detailed Jamie Edwards, Manager of the Whitewater Management Area for the Minnesota DNR.

So what should people do if they find a rattlesnake?

“Back away or make lateral movement away from the snake,” explained Edwards.

Which wasn’t exactly what Julie did.

“I jumped a mile and ran away from my lawnmower.”

Julie monitors the activities of the snakes so when the DNR come they know where to find them.

That process gave her a new-found appreciation for rattlesnakes.

“I felt like I was at the zoo. I guess try to relocate them if they’re not a threat because they’re beautiful.”

But at the same time, she can appreciate them from a distance.

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