Calgary

Rattlesnake captured after it fell from grate into University of Lethbridge office

A rattlesnake was caught and released Tuesday after it slithered into a University of Lethbridge office.

The whole incident was caught on video by snake expert Ryan Heavy Head

Rattlesnake removed after slithering into University of Lethbridge office

2 years ago
1:00
Rattlesnake removed after slithering into University of Lethbridge office 1:00

A rattlesnake was caught and released Tuesday after it slithered into a University of Lethbridge office.

Ryan Heavy Head, who's known around the southern Alberta city as the "Snake Man," responded to a call from university security who said the reptile had fallen through a grate on the sixth floor mechanical room and slithered under a faculty member's desk on the fourth floor.

Heavy Head runs a 24-hour rattlesnake hotline, safely relocating the venomous creatures during the summer season when the animals are most active.

He often documents his work on video, and this case — his first call of the season — was no exception.

As for the capture itself, it was pretty straightforward, Heavy Head said.

"I grabbed the snake and put him in a transport case and I took him back to the den site," he said.

Ryan Heavy Head releases a snake back at its den site after rescuing it from a University of Lethbridge office. (Ryan Heavy Head/YouTube)

He said his permit from Alberta Fish and Wildlife allows him to return the snakes to their homes. He has a long list of den sites around the city, and will bring snakes to the nearest known site.

"The snakes are connected to their places of birth … so what they've found in studies that if you relocate them away from that den a lot of times they're vulnerable to predators."

He'll also keep track of markings on snakes bodies, as he'll sometimes spot repeat offenders.

He said he receives on average about 120 calls each season.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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