Fewer Rattlers Rounded-Up at Roundup

event draws about 30,000 to Sweetwater

It looks like our recommendation for the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup might not have lived up to the hype due to cold weather.

The weather is being blamed for fewer critters being caught during the actual hunt. Director Khris Torrez says hunters caught about 1,700 pounds worth of rattlesnakes. The usual take is closer to 4,000 pounds, but organizers said the long, cold winter affected the number of rattlers.

Still, organizers said the three-day event in Sweetwater, which wrapped up Sunday, drew an estimated crowd of 30,000 to the town that normally only houses about 12,000.

The original purpose of the roundup was to minimize the area's rattlesnake population in order to protect livestock, but the event has become a tourist draw with a carnival, dances, a beauty pageant, parade and, of course, some vendors selling rattlesnake meat.

Deep-fried Western Diamondback Rattlesnake was on the roundup menu. Some of the reptile meat will be shipped to grocery stores.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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