Jul 17, 7:40 AM EDT

Timber rattlesnake caught lingering near Massachusetts home


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Timber rattlesnakes are known to thrive in some rural areas of Massachusetts, but finding them in urban areas is almost unheard of.

That's why state environmental police and animal control personnel were surprised to receive a report Sunday of a large rattler hanging around a Springfield home.

Animal Control Officer Daniel Simpson tells the Boston Herald the man was going to kill it with a shovel, but called authorities instead. The venomous snakes are protected in Massachusetts.

Simpson and state Environmental Police used a pillowcase and net to capture and relocate it about 14 miles way to Mount Tom in Holyoke.

He doubts the snake slithered its way to Springfield. He thinks it was a pet that either escaped or was released, or was dropped by a bird of prey.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.