West Virginia Man Arrested For Illegal Possession of 17 Rattlesnakes

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West Virginia Man Arrested For Illegal Possession of 17 Rattlesnakes

West Virginians can possess one timber rattlesnake.

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A man in West Virginia has been arrested for the illegal possession of 17 rattlesnakes by the West Virginia Natural Resources Police. The police, acting on a tip, learned that an individual living Randolph County was capturing the venomous reptiles in Tucker County and bringing them to his residence. When police arrived at the man’s residence, they found the snakes.

The man has been charged with two counts of illegal possession of timber rattlesnakes  (Crotalus horridus) and possession of a rattlesnake less than the required 42 inches mandated by the state. It is not illegal to possess a timber rattlesnake in the state, but the limit is one a year and it must exceed 42 inches in length.



Timber rattlesnake


Vladislav T. Jirousek/Shutterstock

The timber rattlesnake is the official state reptile of West Virginia.

The timber rattlesnake is West Virginia’s state reptile. It is one of two venomous snake species in the state. The other is the copperhead snake.


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The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is listed as an endangered species in the state of West Virginia. One of the larger rattlesnakes, the timber rattler can grow to more than five feet with the largest recorded at a few inches beyond 6 feet. Large specimens can weigh nearly 10 lbs. Typical adults will be near 40 inches in length.