A white rattlesnake spotted Wednesday at a Texas park has produced a collective shudder across the country, after a photo of the snake was shared thousands of times on Facebook.
It’s not an albino. Called a banded rock rattlesnake, the seldom seen species of pit viper has a spotty distribution in only three states along the Mexican border (Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas), and is known for having a powerful bite, say experts.
The photo was posted Wednesday by The Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park in Texas, a 195-acre park within the Franklin Mountains. “We had this little friend come and cool down by one of the doors at the park,” said the post, adding “rattlesnakes won’t strike unless provoked.”
ReptilesMagazine.com says ”banded rock rattlesnakes are very cryptic in nature and not commonly observed because of their coloration, small size and speed.”
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They typically grow to only about 2 feet in length, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo, which means the one found at the park appears to be bigger than average.
Reaction to the idea of snake that blends in with concrete has grown steadily as media outlets have carried stories of the photo. The park’s Facebook post had been shared more than 6,400 times in two days and drawn 1,000-plus comments, many expressing fear.
At least one commenter suggested the snake was a new rattlesnake-python hybred.
“Now a brotha ain’t even safe on concrete?!” wrote Keven Lucas in response to photo.
“Nope, Nope, Nope!!!!!!” posted Giselle Miranda Martino.
“Shiver!!! All I’m gonna say !!! Oh and EEEEKKK,” said Carol Ann Duncan Graham.
“Now they’re getting scary,” posted Craig South.
“Beautiful and deadly. Man I have never seen color on a rattlesnake in my life,” posted Pebbles Adrian.