Starting today, the City of Lethbridge's seasonal rattlesnake mitigation program, in place to reduce the number of people/pet and snake encounters in the city, is open for the year.
Residents may encounter prairie rattlesnakes when exploring our coulees or occasionally in urban areas. Each year between April/early May and December, when rattlesnakes are out of hibernation, we contract rattlesnake consultant Ryan Heavyhead to relocate rattlesnakes on public or private property where there is a concern for public safety.
The snakes are relocated from an area of conflict, back to their permanent natural habitat (their den site/wintering/birthing grounds) and away from people/pet conflict. This process is strictly regulated by Fish & Wildlife and the City of Lethbridge has a research permit to conduct these activities.
The Province of Alberta Wildlife Act prohibits anyone from owning/harassing wildlife, including rattlesnakes and bull snakes, so the City of Lethbridge provides this mitigation program to encourage residents to phone for help instead of trying to move rattlesnakes themselves.
It is also illegal to kill rattlesnakes, possess rattlesnakes or their parts, or damage denning areas. There are significant charges and fines for killing a rattlesnake in Alberta.
To have a rattlesnake relocated from an urban or recreational area, please call 403-332-6806.
To report a rattlesnake sighting, please contact the Helen Schuler Nature Centre at 403-320-3064.
More information is available at: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Animals-Wildlife/Pages/Rattlesnakes.aspx