A Texas rattlesnake roundup is taking place in the area of Sweetwater that is even attracting people from China, Inquisitr reports March 9. The annual event brings in about 5,000 pounds of meat that is cooked, smoked, and barbequed after the snakes are rounded up by hunters.
The purpose of the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup is to keep the population in check. It's been in existence since 1958 and about 30,000 people a year attend the outdoor event. It's estimated that one percent of the snake population in the state is captured during the festival.
It's not just about catching rattlesnakes for the purpose of food -- there are tours offered at the festival for those interested in seeing how the snakes live in their natural habitat. Those are the lucky ones.
There are prizes for individuals and groups who capture the most pounds in rattlesnakes, as well the largest rattlesnake.
Only western diamondback snakes in good condition are accepted into the Texas rattlesnake roundup competition.
Animal lovers oppose any type of gathering in which people find hunting to be an entertainment sport. The roundup reportedly helps farmers keep the population of rattlesnakes lower since the species is so prolific.