A wildlife rescue center is peaking out against animal cruelty after they discovered and rescued a bright pink rattlesnake near the University of Utah Hospital. The reptile was apparently coated in spray paint by an individual as yet unknown.
Jim Dix, the director at Reptile Rescue, said the seemingly harmless act against the snake equates to animal cruelty. Now he wants to speak out in the hopes that other’s won’t do anything so harmful and potentially dangerous to themselves.
While people might assume a little paint would be harmless to the thick protective scales of a snake—after all, the snake will shed away the painted skin—it actually puts the reptile in grave danger. If left in the wild, the bright pink snake can no longer camouflage with its surroundings the way its natural scale pattern and coloration allows it to do. The neon color leaves it as open prey to any predators that eat reptiles.
In a statement to KSTU-TV, Dix called the action both childish and dangerous.
“That’s a really childish, stupid thing to do. I don’t know why anybody would want to do that,” said Dix. “And getting close enough to spraying it like that—you are also putting yourself in danger’s way.”
The snake is being cared for by the Reptile Rescue until it sheds the painted skin. Then it will be released back into the wild.
It should be noted that in Utah it is considered a Class B misdemeanor to harm a wild animal.
See the full report below.