Virginia rattlesnake combat dance caught on camera

Outdoors Bound

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — An Abingdon hiking guide and outfitter has captured on video a rarely-seen event — the combat dance of two timber rattlesnakes.

Justin Harris of White Blaze Outdoors saw the animals’ battle unfold during a recent hike in the Blue Ridge near Abingdon.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) said when two males are vying for the attention of a female, they will intertwine face-to-face, rise up, and then try to force the other to the ground to establish superiority.

While snake experts say it is a common behavior, it’s one rarely seen by humans.

The VDWR says all three of Virginia’s venomous snakes — timber rattlers, cottonmouths, and copperheads — take part in similar combat dances to exert control over territory at breeding time.

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