By Catherine Dominguez
Officials investigate giant rattler
Officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are trying to determine whether a photo of a man holding a nearly 10-foot rattlesnake is real or just a hoax.
The photo, which recently surfaced on Facebook, was sent to game wardens who say they know who the man is but as of Wednesday afternoon had not yet interviewed him about the photo and the snake.
"We know that sometimes when people take pictures, they put things closer to the camera to make them look bigger," Game Warden Brannon Meinkowsky said. "I think they did that. I'm not saying it's not a big snake, but we haven't had a chance to go interview the couple of guys that took the snake in."
The Conroe Courier, a sister newspaper of the Tomball Potpourri, received calls and emails regarding the snake, whether it's real and where it was killed.
According to Meinkowsky, the snake was killed while the men were duck hunting on the north side of Lake Conroe. He didn't have any other details and declined to release the names of the men involved. He said the photo may be several months old.
"We do have rattlesnakes in the area; but based on the photo, it looks like a diamondback rattlesnake, which are more commonly seen in South and West Texas, not East Texas," he said. "In East Texas, we typically see the timber rattlesnake."
The Western diamondback rattlesnake averages about 4-6 feet and is found in the southwest region of the United States, including parts of Texas, according to National Geographic's website.
However, the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America, with some reaching up to 8 feet long and weighing up to 10 pounds. The Eastern diamondback is commonly found in southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. They typically are not found in Texas.
The timber rattlesnake, which is listed as "threatened" in Texas according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, is typically only about 3-4 feet long and can be found in the eastern United States as well as some eastern parts of Texas.