Remember the Florida python round-up that got so much attention last year? This is like that, but a much older tradition. In the 50s in Sweetwater, TX, rattlesnakes were rounded up and killed as a form of population control. Since then, it’s become a tourist attraction. For one weekend a year, handlers in the small town in western Texas collect thousands of rattlesnakes and visitors engage in milking and skinning the snakes. Locals see the tradition as deep-seated in their culture, even the Miss Snake Charmer milking a snake each year (source). Quite an example of our complicated relationship with animal life. The photos are gorgeous. Those bloody hand-prints are haunting.

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