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Posted by shesco on March 20, 2003 at 21:48:59:
In Reply to: Re: First Gopher snake of the year spotted - very sad posted by snakeguy88 on March 20, 2003 at 15:57:50:
quite compelling. However there were some factors that I did not state in my first post to keep it brief.
1. The road is about 2 miles long with access points at each end only. That day, I was the only motorized vehicle and there were two bicyclists riding together. This road is out of town, near the Great Salt Lake so the terrain is salt marsh and desert, no trees to dapple the sunlight and mask the visibility of the snake. In fact, I saw it quite clearly from my truck, it stood out against the black asphalt like a neon sign.
2. When I passed the cyclists, they were moving in the opposite direction of me, and riding on the proper side of the road. The snake was on the side of the road in my lane. This means they had to move over to the wrong side of the road, hit the snake and then move back.
The third factor is not directly related but rather a conditioning on my part. Last year I was watching yellow bellied racers in the same area. One day I went to the usual spot and found two of them dead, beaten to death by rocks, some of them still on the snakes, to the point that their heads were no longer identifiable. This was indeed an intentional act, and it was not the first time I had seen this kind of treatment around here. I suppose now, whenever I see a snake that has been killed, my first reaction is that it was intentional and I know this is not always the case.
I do agree you are right about it possibly being an accident, but is sure seems like an odd accident considering the above factors. I guess the bottom line here is, whether intentional or accident, the snake is still dead, and that fact is what saddens me.