Rattlesnake slithers out of the ocean on South Carolina beach

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Aug. 9, 2017 at 1:20 PM
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Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A couple visiting the beach on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island captured video and photos of a diamondback rattlesnake that emerged from the ocean.

Jonathan and Lindsay Wiles each posted photos and videos to their Facebook pages, showing the large rattlesnake they encountered Aug. 1 while walking on Hilton Head Island's Port Royal Plantation Beach.

"This guy just rolled out of a wave right in front of us this morning. Literally the wave just deposited him," Jonathan Wiles wrote.

Lindsay Wiles said the beach trip quickly turned into a "nature walk."

The couple said the snake appeared disoriented as it slithered through the sand.

"A rattlesnake is probably one of the last things I would expect to wash up onto shore in front of me," Jonathan wrote.

The couple said they visit Hilton Head Island about twice each year and have never spotted a rattlesnake before.

Will Dillman, a herpetologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said the serpent in the photos and videos is "absolutely" an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the largest venomous snake in North America.

"It's a very unusual experience for someone to actually see a diamondback," Dillman told the Hilton Head Island Packet. "It's really lucky."

"Usually you aren't going to see them right on the beach like that, but they do occur," he said. "It's very possible this snake was doing some normal swimming and got caught in a harsh tide and ended up where it didn't intend to be."

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