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Rattlesnake found painted pink near SLC construction site

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 21:00:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's the season when hikers, bikers and people just walking around are going to run into rattlesnakes.

Almost all of those interactions will end with the person and the snake scurrying off with a pounding heart and a new lesson in caution.

But one pink rattlesnake paints a picture of the wrong kind of interaction.

"It's animal cruelty," said Jim Dix, director of Reptile Rescue.

Dix has the pink snake in recuperation after recovering it from the foothills near the University of Utah Hospital.

The reptile expert said he believes is was likely a construction worker who used ground-marking equipment to paint the 3-4 foot venomous snake.

"And that's a really childish, stupid thing to do," Dix said.

The paint endangers the snake by making it more visible both to predators and prey, and it endangers people by making the snake more aggressive, specifically because the paint was over the snake’s eyes making it more likely to lash out at any possible threat.

It's a class B misdemeanor to harm a wild snake in Utah.

If you have a rattlesnake in a place where you feel endangered, Dix said the best thing to do is to keep an eye on it and call his group. They remove snakes free of charge.

Reptile Rescue's phone number is 801-860-2497.