The National Parks Service tracks rattlesnakes via radio - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

The National Parks Service tracks rattlesnakes via radio

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A National Parks Service biologist uses a radio antenna to track rattlesnakes movements in the Nevada's Great River Basin National Park. (Source: KSL/NBC) A National Parks Service biologist uses a radio antenna to track rattlesnakes movements in the Nevada's Great River Basin National Park. (Source: KSL/NBC)
This rattlesnake was captured in order to place a tracking device in its body. (KSL/NBC) This rattlesnake was captured in order to place a tracking device in its body. (KSL/NBC)

(KSL/NBC) - One of the enduring symbols of the West is the rattlesnake, and a lot of people just don't like them.

But experts on the Utah-Nevada border who've been tracking rattlers by radio say people ought to give the snakes a little slack. They're not as dangerous as most people think, and they seldom travel far from their dens in search of prey.

"The snakes are completely non-aggressive," said Bryan Hamilton, a National Park Service biologist. "About the only way they bite is if you try to catch them or you try to kill them, or if you accidentally stepped or sat on one."

The radio-equipped rattlesnakes are part of a research partnership between BYU and the National Park Service. For five years, researchers have been following the snakes' movements as they slither around at Nevada's Great Basin National Park, just 10 miles from the Utah border.

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