6-foot rattlesnake startles Polk County birdwatchers

- A Bartow couple on a birdwatching trip came across something that really ruffled their feathers: A 6-foot, 100-pound diamondback rattlesnake.

"I can't even repeat what I said," recalled Cathy Terry, who was with her husband Lloyd when they encountered the snake. "It was, ‘Wow! Oh, my gosh! Look at the size of that thing. Window down! Get outta the way.’ So I took the pictures.”

"I saw this big thing going across the road,” offered Lloyd.  “Big thing. Fat.”

Lloyd is thankful he didn't step on the snake when he got out of his truck. It was close, though.

"The snake could have easily struck if he stepped on it, and that would have just been out of self-defense," said Lisa Ricigliano, the owner of L&R Wildlife Services.

Cathy posted the photos on her Facebook page and they went viral.

"Probably one quarter say, ‘You should have run it over.  Why didn't you kill it? Boy, that would make a great pair a boots, probably a belt,’" Cathy recounted.

But none of that is going to happen. They just let the snake slip into the high grass.

"Is that going to stop you from going back into nature again?" FOX 13’s Ken Suarez asked.

"No, not at all," replied Cathy. "But it is going to stop me from getting out of the truck as quickly."

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