SOUTH FORT MYERS
FGCU keeps track of its rattlesnakes on campus.
A team at Florida Gulf Coast University is studying how the snakes move around the area.
They use transmitters that can tell the team where the snakes are when they want to check them because if they know where the snakes are, they can better study the animals.
“We hope our research will allow us to better understand their movements, behavior and genetics so we can help save this iconic species,” said Matthew Metcalf, FGCU visiting instructor also known as the “rattlesnake guy.”
From the end of August to October is the breeding season for snakes, including rattlesnakes.
“When they start to move away from the birth site, people often interact with them because they move into their yards or driveways,” Metcalf said.
Metcalf tracks down rattlesnakes on the FGCU campus.
One of them, known as Hissy Elliott, gave birth to 11 babies last week.
Metcalf recently found a 4 1/2-foot eastern diamondback rattlesnake that was pregnant.
The snake was found in the Corkscrew Road area among thick bushes.
Metcalf wants to remind people that these are not aggressive animals. If you leave them alone, they will leave everyone alone, but if you meet a rattlesnake…
“The most important thing you can do is just stay away. Also keep children, dogs, cats and anything away from the animal,” Metcalf said.
Then, Metcalfe said, you should call someone who is authorized to remove the snake and bring it home.
And since it’s the season of rattlesnake activity, it’s important to stay away and be careful.
Metcalf is authorized to remove rattlesnakes. It can be reached at the address [email protected]
You can also follow his rattlesnake project on Instagram at swfl_rattlesnake_project.