Firefighters on an exercise in the woods discovered a broken terrarium from which two rattlesnakes had escaped. At first the firefighters weren’t able to identify the reptiles, but when shown a photo the fire service’s snake expert warned of the danger. The Texan rattlesnake is among the world’s most dangerous snakes. They live in the wilds of North America and when fully grown can kill a man. The snakes found in Belgium measured up to 50 cm and could kill anybody weighing less than 35 kilos.
A vet was called in to load the snakes into a transport box that was taken to the nature reception centre in Oudsbergen, the only place that could cope with the snakes at short notice.
Fortunately, it was chilly on Friday. In warmer conditions the snakes would have been far more active and may have got away. A zoo or other recipient is now being sought for the snakes. An environmental licence is required to keep such snakes in Belgium. Authorisation is hardly never granted, but the snakes are freely available on reptile fairs in Germany. With no border controls it’s easy to bring the animals to Belgium.