He said a common misconception is these snakes are out to hurt people.
“They aren’t venomous to hurt you,” he said. “But they can be dangerous. They make for terrible pets.”
McCurley estimated the prairie rattlesnake is 25 inches long, while the Mojave rattlesnake is 30 inches long.
While these venomous snakes are common in the wild in Montana and other western states, it’s extremely rare for anyone to be in possession of them in New Hampshire.
“I’d say there’s only one or two in the entire state,” McCurley said.
Earlier this week, McCurley received an alligator which was captured in a different incident. A resident noticed the 3-foot alligator along the Lamprey River. It was captured by Newmarket police and New Hampshire Fish and Game.
“The average person is ill equipped to handle an alligator, due to its size,” McCurley said.
Alligator ownership, too, requires a special permit. McCurley said he thinks sometimes people do obtain them legally, but as the reptiles grow, they can’t handle them and simply release them.
“They can be maintained while they’re smaller, but when they get bigger people don’t know what to do with them,” he said. “They get released into the wild. They can live out there temporarily, but once it hits 40 degrees, it’s basically a death warrant for them.”