On August 12, 2020 we had a special visitor….a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake was found! This was an exciting and rare find, as this was the first time in our 20 year history that we have encountered a rattlesnake at Allan Brooks Nature Centre.
The rattlesnake was found onsite at ABNC basking in the sun, by a staff member in the afternoon. The grassland at Allan Brooks Nature Centre is a protected ecosystem that is a safe place for wildlife species to call home and we are always excited to find new species onsite. However, due to the specific location that the rattlesnake was found it was not safe for the snake or for our visitors. For this reason, Peter Wise of Wise Wildlife Control was called to safely relocate the snake. The rattlesnake was relocated in the same grassland ecosystem to the south of ABNC, within 1 km of where it was found.
The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (or Western Rattlesnake) is commonly found in the Thompson-Okanagan region and their summer habitat includes grassland ecosystems with rocky outcrops. ABNC is located in a grassland ecosystem that would seem like suitable habitat for the species, however they have very rarely been found in the area surrounding ABNC. Peter Wise stated that “In his previous 25 years of working in wildlife control in the Vernon area, he has only encountered 2 other rattlesnakes on the Northern piece of the Commonage ridge that ABNC occupies”. It is unknown as to why this is.
The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake is an important part of the local ecosystems and should not be feared, but rather respected. If you come across a rattlesnake it is important to keep your distance and slowly back away from the snake. They are a non-aggressive snake, but any wild animal may try to defend themselves if they feel threatened. If you find a rattlesnake in a location not safe for the snake or for people, do not try to relocate the snake yourself. Please call Peter, at Wise Wildlife Control at 250- 503-7151.
For more information on the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (or Western Rattlesnake) check out Roseanne Van Ee’s article here: Get Outdoors! and learn about rattlesnakes.