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Classroom Rattlesnake Leaving High School After 30 Years

Posted by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM
  • 8 Replies

A poisonous rattlesnake was kept as a pet, but not at home.

The snake was kept in the Placer High School biology class for more than 30 years.

His name is Stryker. He’s a 5-foot-long rattlesnake living at the high school. But, he’s going to be moving soon and it’ll take some adjustment.

“In 1982, one of my biology students showed up, first period, with a rattle snake in a coffee can,” said teacher Douglas Stryker.

Ever since, the snake, named after Mr. Stryker, has called Placer High School home.

The snake, though, is a short timer.

“It was a liability issue,” said a school representative.

The snake’s unintended cost has the district rattled. An extra $50,000 is the insurance premium to keep a poisonous snake in the classroom.

“It’s sad,” sophomore Hanna Hensler said. “It has a pretty good life here.”

After 30 years here, Placer High School could miss out on a special moment. Douglas says the snake will soon break a world record.

“Thirty years, seven months is a zoo documented, the longest a rattle snake has ever been in captivity,” said Douglas.

Now retired, Douglas has a message for the administration that kicked his friend to the curb.

“Thirty-eight kids in a chemistry classroom is more of a liability,” said Douglas.

Douglas says he may be on to something with the longevity of reptiles. He actually owns a turtle, that’s 45 years old.

CBS13 is told Stryker will not lose his day job. He’s being moved to Splash, a program at Mather Field that teaches science to elementary school students.

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM
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Replies (1-8):
steveiguana
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM
1 mom liked this

I hate snakes am scared to death of them if I had to go to school with one I would be petrified and never learn a thing however the line about the 38 kids just cracked me up lol

Threes.Company
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM

HAHAHA!!!

So true... 38 kids in a chem classroom probably IS more of a liability!!! :)

sweettigeress
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Yikes. 

norahsmommy
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Aww. So close to the record!! I agree that kids in a Chem class is more of a liability. So cool that a snake can live so long, I had no idea. Some people just have a knack with pets. My parents have pets that live freakishly long lives. 23 year old cat, 22 yr old cat ( got hit by a car, not old age). 11 yr old mini rabbit, 24 yr old dog.
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Punkie74
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Awwwww my school had a pet boa... when I was a senior we learned Oscar was Oscaretta! LOL

Quoting steveiguana:

I hate snakes am scared to death of them if I had to go to school with one I would be petrified and never learn a thing however the line about the 38 kids just cracked me up lol

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MIA0223
by Michelle on Oct. 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM
Oh wow!
I had no clue snakes lived that long!
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Jlee4249
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM
The record was for captivity, so why can't he continue to keep it at home? Does that not count as "captivity"?
KRIZZ25
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we try to make excuses for ower kids bad behavior. when its ower fault for letting it happen in first place.we need to show them how to behave. dont make excuses ..make solutions ..
Yesterday at 9:54 PM
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM
wow..so did the snake graduate ??lol..
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