Thirsty rattlesnake takes a selfie on Arizona trail camera


The equivalent of a rattlesnake selfie popped up on an Arizona trail camera after a teen left out water for snakes during a drought.

Video screenshot

The equivalent of a rattlesnake “selfie” popped up on an Arizona trail camera after a teen decided to do something nice for a bunch of pit vipers outside Phoenix.

“During the height of our drought season this year, my kind hearted son (Jeremy) put out a bowl of water by a den area, where snakes escape the heat during the summer months,” Steve Tippett posted on Facebook.

He shared 90 seconds of video on the Arizona Snake Identification and Questions Facebook page, showing a snake lapping up the water bowl like a puppy.

However, the most remarkable moment came about 20 seconds into the footage, when one snake got curious about the camera, slithered up to it, and stared into the lens for about two seconds.

The result is a strange “selfie” that is both blurry — and unmistakably of a snake.

It then slithered away.

Jeremy Tippett, 16, told McClatchy News the video was recorded outside a mountain cave near Phoenix. On average, about five snakes use the den to escape the heat, he said, including speckled rattlesnakes, diamondbacks, and occasionally a coachwhip.

“The snakes caught on video were two southwestern speckled rattlesnakes and one western diamondback rattlesnake,” he said.

“The Western diamondback rattlesnake was the snake whom took a drink for just under two minutes and also the one that got close to check out the camera,” he continued. “I believe he was interested in the camera because it was a new object that was where he lives and passes by everyday.”

Commenters on social media couldn’t help but to be impressed, with many noting it’s challenging to record video of rattlesnakes drinking in the wild.

“This is an amazing capture,” Thom Malone wrote.

“It’s special seeing a snake drink,” Veronica Postel posted.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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