Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Timber Rattlesnake
    Scientific Name:
    Crotalus horridus
    • Solitary from April-October, they may den up with other snakes and hibernate through winter.
    • To avoid detection, they remain coiled and motionless.
    • They rattle as a warning in response to a threat.
    1.5 lb
    4 ft
    Life Span:
    20 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    120 days
    Number of Young:
    • Forest
    • Shrubland
    • Wetlands
    Fun Facts:
    • All rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous. This means instead of laying eggs the mother carries the eggs in her body as the young develop. Babies hatch inside the mother and are born live.
    • Timber rattlers are sometimes referred to as "canebrake".
    • They can strike as much as 1/3 to 1/2 of their body length.
    • They do add a button to their rattle when they shed, but rattles can be broken and are not good indicators of age.
    • Although they hibernate with other snakes, they cannot interbreed with those snakes.
    • Habitat Loss
    • Poaching / Over Consumption
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    By marking snakes encountered on the North Carolina Zoo’s grounds, Zoo staff are learning valuable information about the status of our local snake population. In addition, snake research on site creates unique opportunities to teach visitors about the importance of these misunderstood but critical predators. Snakes are also tested for a fungal disease that is affecting an increasing number of wild snakes in North Carolina. You can read more about the Zoo’s work on wild snakes below, under related resources.

    The timber rattlesnake’s habitat looks like an area within the Uwharrie Mountains where you might find them. It includes rocks to climb and crevices to hide in.  A few heated rocks help them regulate their body temperature.