NOXEN, Pa. — Snake hunters have been collecting serpents for fun and prizes — and to help out a Pennsylvania town’s local fire department — as part of the annual rattlesnake roundup.

The event in Noxen in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming County is the fire department’s biggest fundraiser and also aims to teach attendees about snakes, which are later returned to their natural habitat.

Fire chief Lew Hackling said prizes are awarded for largest snake, biggest rattle and other things.

In the first two hours Saturday, a 53½-inch dark-phased rattlesnake came in. Fifteen minutes later, a father and son arrived with two rattlesnakes, and the son had several nonpoisonous snakes.

Last year, 39 of the 59 registered hunters brought in a rattlesnake, and eight poisonous copperhead and 20 nonvenomous snakes were also hauled in.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.