Beware - timber rattlesnakes are getting frisky in the woods of Manchester. They're mating, they're endangered in New Jersey, and they're dangerous.

Timber Rattlesnake (Manchester Police Dept.)

On their Facebook page, township police say that reports have surfaced from people in Whiting's Roosevelt City section. They consulted Robert T. Zappalorti, Executive Director and President of Herpetological Associates, Inc.

He pointed out that males are on the prowl for females at this time of year, adding that they're scattered throughout the state, but locally are notable in Roosevelt City, Fox Hollow and Timber Green.

Timber Rattlesnake (Manchester Police Dept.)

Police culled handy tips from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP):

  • Do not approach them. Keep a safe distance.Timber rattlesnakes are normally passive, but turn defensive if they perceive a threat. Rattlers, in general, view humans as predators, so simply staying in the area can be considered a threat to them.
  • Never try to handle a rattler. To them, it's extremely threatening and more likely to evoke an attack. Rattleshakes can strike at distances up to half their body lengths.
  • Don't kill it. Timber rattlesnakes are protected under New Jersey's Endangered Species Act, meaning it's illegal to kill, handle or harass them.
  • Report the sighting. Biologists employed by the state can advise you of steps you can take, and what will be done. Note the time and place and call 609-628-2103 in South Jersey, or 908-735-8975/9281 in North Jersey. Nights and weekends, call 877-WARN-DEP.

    Timber Rattlesnake (Manchester Police Dept.)

    If you are bitten, of course, call 911. To find out how to handle snake bites, the DEP web page carries an entire brochure addressing it.

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