Researching rattlesnakes in Southwest Florida

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia

Graduate students in Southwest Florida are trapping dangerous rattlesnakes for research.

It’s not what most people want to find in their yard but on Thursday a 14-year-old boy walking in an overgrown grassy area to go fishing was bitten by one of the snakes. He is recovering at a hospital ICU.

It’s snake-mating season now, so many of the snakes are on the move.

Rhett Stanberry and his wife go around Collier County catching rattlesnakes for free.

They team up with FGCU’s snake team to track the snakes for research purposes.

That’s where Ella Guedouar comes in.

“I’m listening for a beep and that beep will tell me the direction in which the rattlesnake is so if I hear the beep coming from that direction I know the rattlesnake is over there,” Guedouar said.

She said the research is meant to help them understand the animals better, including where they live.

“We’re pushing them out of their native environment so they’re confused, they’re looking for the best places to live,” Guedouar said.

Guedouar said people should be careful when walking in wooded areas.

“Rattlesnake bites are really rare venomous snake bites they only, unfortunately, happen when you’re trying to mess with a rattlesnake or in the very unlikely case that you step on one, so that’s why we recommend you be very careful,” she said.

If you see a rattlesnake and want the snake control team to relocate it, you can send them an email at They ask that you make sure you include a picture of the snake in your email.

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