PHOENIX — Rattlesnakes are not known for their companionship, but one in the Valley was recently in need of a friend after getting tangled up in a trap.
Bryan Hughes, a Phoenix-based snake expert, recently jumped to the aid of a distressed Mojave rattlesnake after it was found near Peoria twisted up in bird netting.
Hughes is the owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, which specializes in relocating venomous snakes found in the Valley's residential areas, and has become accustomed to handling the slithery reptiles.
But a recent rescue forced Hughes to be extra dexterous and delicate to ensure he nor the snake didn't get hurt.
Last week, Hughes recorded himself pull an unhappy snake out of a glob of webbing as the reptile continuously rattled its tail and attempted to wriggle away.
Armed with a metal rod and a pair of scissors, Hughes slowly clipped pieces of the netting away while trying not to get too close to the squirmy snake.
Hughes said he has to free snakes caught up in webs and nets several times each year. Not doing so would likely result in the snake dying, Hughes said, so he thinks it's worth the risk of potentially getting bit.
"Working in such close proximity to the snake in such a chaotic situation makes every small move of the hand a potential life-ender," Hughes said. "It takes a lot of focus and patience."
Mojave rattlesnakes have a reputation for being defensive and their venom is often considered to be more potent than other rattlesnake species -- making Hughes' rescue effort all the more dangerous.
After a few minutes of snipping and wrangling, Hughes successfully managed to remove all the netting and safely placed the rattlesnake in a bucket. The animal will eventually be let go back out into the wild.
Hughes founded Rattlesnake Solutions in 2010 with the goal of protecting snakes and educating Arizona residents on how to coexist with the reptiles. Hughes' team of snake experts relocates more than 1,400 snakes each year.
More videos of snake rescues can be found on the Rattlesnake Solutions YouTube page.