West Virginia Police Stop Traffic To Let Snake Cross Busy Road

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West Virginia Police Stop Traffic To Let Snake Cross Busy Road

With a little help from police, the timber rattlesnake made it safely to the other side.

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How often do you see police officers stopping traffic to help a snake cross a busy road? Not often, but if you live in Roanoke, West Virginia, you may have been witness to just that, as two of Roanoke’s finest halted traffic so a snake could safely cross the road. Video footage of the traffic stop was captured by WFIR news producer Randy Leftwich as he was running errands in the city. 

The police stopped traffic as the snake slowly crawled to the other side of the road, and in some cases, diverted cars so that the snake stayed safe. 


"I thought it was a turtle at first," Leftwich told CBS News. "When I saw the snake I thought cops get such a bad rap these days, here are two officers helping out an animal." "Awesome to see these guys out there helping," Leftwich said.

The Roanoke Police Department posted a photo of the rattlesnake (appears to be a timber rattlesnake, a protected species in the state) that they had helped across the road, reminding folks that now that the summer months are here, to be mindful to watch out for snakes and avoid them, just as they wish to avoid people. 

Timber rattlesnake

Joe Farah/Shutterstock


Timber rattlesnakes are a protected species in West Virginia.

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.