Rare western diamondback rattlesnake found on Hill Country ranch

‘Albinism is very rare in rattlesnakes,’ officials say

This rare albino Western Diamondback rattlesnake was found on a Hill Country ranch. (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department)

MASON COUNTY, Texas – It was a special sighting for one Hill Country homeowner who spotted an albino western diamondback rattlesnake on his property recently.

The landowner of a private ranch called officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to let them know he found the reptile.

“Albinism is very rare in rattlesnakes,” said TPWD spokesperson Megan Radke. “Our biologists say they see albino western diamondback rattlesnakes pop up from time to time around the state but again, it’s rare.”

The lack of camouflage makes the snake more vulnerable to predators, according to TPWD officials.

The landowner captured and re-released the snake on his property, officials said.

Western diamondback rattlesnakes are typically found among canyons, rocky cliffs and in nearby meadows. They help control rodent populations and typically grow between 30-72 inches long.

While these snakes are venomous, they typically leave humans alone if they are not provoked.

The National Safety Council, according to TPWD officials, states that a person is five times more likely to be killed by lightning (odds are 1 in 4,210,857 per year) than by snakebite (odds are less than 1 in 20,406,462).

If you see a snake that you believe to be venomous and it’s in an area that could pose a threat to humans, call 311 so the reptile can be relocated safely.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.